Objectives: To explore the regional distribution of creative firms across the UK; to identify agglomerations of businesses that indicate the potential presence of creative clusters; to identify regional and sectoral patterns in those agglomerations.
Key Findings: The various sectors of the creative industries are located in different parts of the UK. London specialises in conducting creative activities, while regions outside London are indirectly linked to the creative sectors as providers of the inputs and raw materials required for creative activities. The advertising, designer fashion, film, video and photography, software and computer services and radio and television industries are highly concentrated in London. Arts and antiques is the only sector which witnesses a higher concentration of activities outside of London, mostly located in Scotland, Yorkshire, Humber, the North West and the South East. Specific neighbourhoods specialise in certain activities because they are endowed with the work bases and infrastructure to carry out these operations. The advertising, software, computer games and electronic publishing and design sectors are closely located to one another in different regions, and similarly, the music, publishing, radio and TV, video, film and photography sectors mutually benefit from the proximity of their operations. No specific region has a monopoly over the operations of the creative sectors in the UK, although the majority of the creative industries are located in London. The creative sectors are regionally diverse and operate in varied degrees at different locations. All the creative sectors are inter-connected, but the driving force that unifies them has not yet been identified.
Methods: The study uses the DCMS operational classification of the creative industries as well as the more experimental classification by Frontier Economics (2008) as premises for understanding the geographical distribution of the creative sectors. The sectors have been divided into five layers, grading their requirements and performances based on the nature of work involved. Statistical data, extracted from the Annual Business Inquiry (ABI) and the Interdepartmental Business Register (IDBR), has been compiled to provide comprehensive data on the manner in which the creative industries are located in the UK, with London as the core of business activities. Creative firm agglomeration is analysed at three geographical levels: regions, 'travel to work areas', and 'super output areas'. Research was conducted in England, Scotland and Wales.
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