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Spotlight on Manchester’s thriving creative industries

Over 100 people from across television, games, digital and advertising last week gathered at the ‘Creative Manchester’ event to champion, celebrate and grow the reputation of the City’s creativity. The event was part of a nationwide tour to celebrate ‘Creative Britain’ and was co-hosted by the IPA and Creative Skillset.


View the photos and video from the event.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester Council, sent a message of support to the event. Said Leese: “The creative industries are playing a huge role in both the region’s economic recovery, and that of the UK as a whole. Manchester is a thriving creative cluster and has an enormous impact in stimulating local economic growth. The City Council is committed to providing the right business and infrastructure support to ensure their continuing success.”

The evening debate and discussion was led by Cat Lewis, CEO and Executive Producer at Nine Lives Media and panel chair Mike Perls, CEO of MC2, with representatives including Martin Bryant, Editor at The Next Web; Jeff Coughlan, CEO of Matmi; Nicky Unsworth, CEO of BJL; and Kaye Elliott, Head of Production Services at Creative England. The panel, along with active participation from the floor, focused on the following key areas of opportunity:

  • Why it is important for creative businesses to hold on to Intellectual Property rights in their work in order for Manchester to be the ‘originator’ of great creative work, of which it can be proud.
  • Being the second biggest creative cluster in Europe after London, Manchester has the potential to compete on the world stage with Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam. How many Manchester businesses are widening their vision and setting up subsidiary offices in London to service national and international businesses?
  • How ‘Creative Manchester’ can do more to present a coherent picture - an ambassador who talked with passion, and a cohesive narrative to take to national and international levels.
  • How Manchester needs to work harder to grow and retain its own talent, with young people, straight from school, now a strong alternative to graduates.

Eleven organisations in the North West; C21, Republic of Media, One Marketing, Havas Lynx, Delineo, Creative England, Madhouse, BJL, TBWA, Access and MEC are among the businesses taking an apprentice for this year’s IPA Creative Pioneers Challenge, which offers creative apprenticeships to local school leavers.

Said Janet Hull OBE, Director of Marketing and Reputation Management, IPA: “This is just the beginning; the start of a bigger campaign to put the creative cities of Britain on the map nationally and internationally and shout about the dynamic growth in our sector and how we are a force for economic and social good.”

The Creative Manchester event was held in local partnership with The White Room, UK Fast, Manchester City Council, Creative England, The Manchester College and Manchester Publishers’ Association (MPA).

On 2nd July the Creative Industries Council launched a new strategy for the UK Creative Industries to reinforce the UK’s position as a world leader. Find out more at

Last updated 09/09/2014

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