THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES: "What's that, then?"
The Creative Industries sector covers production within the categories you can see on your right, in the Directory. It is the second fastest-growing business sector in Britain today, and a recent report calculated that from 1995 to 2000 it was responsible for adding 15,000 new jobs in the West Midlands. The Creative Industries are worth £67 billion a year to the British economy. Our exports are rising sharply, and the creative industries contributed over £11 billion to the balance of trade in the UK in 2002, twice the contribution of the pharmaceuticals sector. The ceramics industry - almost wholly based in Stoke-on-Trent - alone produces a whole one percent of Britain's GDP, compared with just over two percent from all of agriculture.
A strong Creative Industries sector also has more invisible domestic benefits for a city: creative people often freely donate their skills to local communities & non-profit projects; creative people can trailblaze regeneration by colonising 'redundant' urban buildings in 'unfashionable' run-down areas; the wider business world often finds they can incorporate into their products some of the new trends & styles that creative people are exploring; and writers, craftsmen, artists & musicians are a cornerstone of regional cultural identity, their successes stimulating valuable long-term cultural tourism in a city.
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The links below usually lead directly to significant reports and papers on this subject. Most are free & available online. All are about the British creative industries, except for the excellent Rise of the Creative Class which is the first chapter of an American book.
Creative Stoke's Report on Creative Clusters '04 (2004)
Free / PDF / 520kb
The Business of Design (2005)
Free / PDF / 800kb
Visual Artists in Shared Workspaces (2002)
Free / Word / 500kb
A Balancing Act: artists' labour markets in the UK (2002)
Free / Word / 800kb
Facts & Figures on Design in Britain, 2002-2003 (2002)
Free / PDF / 1Mb
Why Are Artists Poor? (2002)
Free / HTML / 500kb
The Ecology of the Creative Community in Nottingham's Lace Market area (2002)
Free / PDF / 36kb
Brave New World 2001: the UK New Media Industry (2001)
Free / PDF / 5.5Mb
UK research & development strengths in the IT and creative content industries (2001)
Free / PDF / 170kb
The DCMS Creative Industries Mapping Document (2001)
Free / PDF / 5Mb
Creative Industries; The Regional Dimension (2000)
Free / PDF / 500kb
Competing in the Age of Talent: Quality of Place and the New Economy (2000)
Free / PDF / 250kb
New Media Arts, New Funding Models (2000)
Free / PDF / 300kb
Creating The Moment: the UK marketplace for artists & makers (2000)
Free / PDF / 700kb
The Creative City - A ToolKit for Urban Innovators (2000)
£19.95 / By Request / Paper
Local Cultural Industries Support Services in the UK: Towards a Model of Best Practice (1999)
Free / 500kb / PDF
The New Adhocracy: Strategy, Risk and the Small Creative Firm (1999) (Version also published as Risky Business; The Independent Production Sector In Britain's Creative Industries, in CP 6, 1 (1999)
£15 / By request / Paper
The Independents - Britain's New Cultural Entrepreneurs (1999)
£10 / By request / Paper
The Cultural Production Sector in Manchester (1999)
Free / 750kb / PDF
Trade Secrets - Young British Creative Talents Talk Business (1999)
£18.95 / By request / Paper
READING & RESEARCH FACILITIES, BOOKSHOPS & ARCHIVES:
Perhaps this is a rather redundant section, in the age of and addall.com/Abe and google.com. But then it's also part of Stoke's charm that large chunks of the city defiantly refuse to leave the 19th Century, let alone the 20th. ;-) And it's not always the case that someone 'knows exactly what they want' -- browsing, daydreaming and serendipity so often play a large part in sparking creativity.
Bookshops & Magazines: In Hanley (Stoke's main shopping area) you'll find a large-sized independent bookshop, Webberleys, with a good but slightly over-thumbed selection of new arts & photography books, and upstairs there's an excellent artist's materials section which also sells [a-n], artist's newsletter. Also in Hanley is a large comic-book & memorabilia shop which stocks a range of graphic-novels upstairs, . The Potteries Art Gallery in Hanley stocks Art Monthly magazine in the foyer shop. Waterstones bookshop has a medium-large sized branch in a distinctive grey-stone building in the centre of Hanley. The independent newsagents on the platform of the mainline rail station has a selection of professional art & design, photography, computer-arts and architectural magazines. They stock New Media Age, The British Journal of Photography, Computer Arts, Digit, 3D World, Creative Review, Design Week, i-D, *wallpaper, Sleaze Nation and Blueprint, among others.
Libraries: In addition to the usual free public lending-libraries, you can also join the several specialist University libraries in The Potteries. For example, Staffordshire University's main arts library. This is opposite the Stoke Film Theatre art-house cinema and near to the Stoke Repertory Theatre, just around the corner from Stoke mainline rail station. Non-students can join the Library (with borrowing rights) for about £50 per year. The Library has a very good selection of over 80 current art & design / media & photography journals and magazines, including [a-n], artist's newsletter. I would imagine that Manchester Metropolitan's campus at Alsager, with its strong arts & design bias, has a similar library. Keele University does have a creative arts faculty (currently in the throes of re-organisation, as of Spring 2002) but the University generally has a business, science & law bias which may be reflected in the Library stock.
Archives: The Staffordshire Film & Multimedia Archive is a good starting point for visual material. There are a variety of archives at Keele University, Staffordshire University, the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, the County archives at Stafford, etc. The Local History desk at Stoke's main library is probably a good starting point for researching your magazine article, documentary film, painting, novel, etc, because they will have details of most local archives. Theatre researchers should note that the extensive archives of the New Victoria Theatre were deposited with the library of Staffordshire University in 2002.
SOME USEFUL PUBLICATIONS:
:: Artists' Newsletter (aka [a-n] magazine). The main monthly information magazine for professional artists in Britain. Packed full of commissions and opportunities.
:: Crafts magazine - the main publication of the Crafts Council.
:: Studio Pottery web site
:: Ceramic Review.
:: The Stage.
:: Arts Research Digest.
:: Arts Professional Online: Jobs, Voluntary Arts: Jobs, Arts Jobs via ArtsHub & This Is Staffordshire: Jobs.
:: Arts news digests: Arts Journal & Arts & Letters Daily.
* footnote on 'Cultural Tourism':
A 2002 found that the average 'cultural visitor' spends £252 per trip and £61 per night, as opposed to the UK 'standard tourist' spend of £145 per trip and £32 per night. Moreover, 'cultural visitors' are far more likely to spend in ways that retain tourist income within the local economy.