If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

UK creative industries growing faster than general economy

Britain's creative hotspots include Brighton, Guildford, Edinburgh

The National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA) has completed a survey of the UK's most creative regions.

NESTA has identified ten hotspots of clustered creative businesses: Bath, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Guildford, Edinburgh, Manchester, Oxford and Wycombe, Slough and, of course, London.

Guildford was also recently identified as something of a game developer hotbed by Supermassive Games.

The organisation also determined that the creative industries are growing faster than the UK economy as a whole. Growth for the latter between 1997 and 2007 was 2.9 per cent, while creative businesses grew by 5.2 per cent.

NESTA also claimed that creative industries would grow at twice the rate of the general economy over the next half decade. It has called on politicians to focus on developing these existing clusters rather than attempt to create new ones and "wasting money on poorly considered interventions." Stated Stian Westlake, NESTA's head of Policy and Research, "Britain is a world beater in the creative industries and this mapping shows the centres of excellence we have across the country.

"With the right policy interventions, such as the East London Tech City initiative, these creative clusters have the potential to become global hubs for high growth, innovative creative industries and create wider economic growth."

NESTA has also launched an online tool which allows users to explore what types and quantities of creative business are clustered across the UK.

Related topics
Alec Meer avatar

Alec Meer


A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.