Creative and Digital Industries

A Look into Creative and Digital

Creative and Digital Industries is a vast sector covering a wide range of areas. These include video and film production, photography, music, book publishing, radio/TV broadcasting, computer games development, social media, software that supports these industries and the telecommunications sector.  This is a fast-growing sector locally, nationally and internationally and is important to the growth and development of other sectors. It is crucial that supplying software services and digital technologies for automotive, life sciences, visitor economy, and construction sectors can encourage innovation and design quality.


D2N2 is home to many creative and digital businesses, including Purpose Media (pictured)

Launch of ENTER 2015 (Credit Simeon Hartwig)

Launch of the ENTER Festival in Nottingham

The use of big and open data to be able to map out trends and forecasts is vital to the development of the sector. Different data sources are used to pinpoint what specifically a business wants to find out by using the different pieces of data to find out the exact details for the area/time/sector in a larger set of data. Film and video companies would use data like this if being commissioned to shoot an outdoor promotional film for an attraction in the area. They would use various sources of data such as weather, visitor, and market research (such as the kinds of shots and colours people respond best to) in order to create an effective film on the day.

The Importance of Creative and Digital

Creative and Digital Industries is an important international strength not only for the D2N2 area but for the whole of the UK. This key sector is a significant employer in the area accounting for over 26,000 employees with approximately 40% (10,400) employed solely in Nottingham and Derby city. There are also a large number of sole traders and micro businesses within the entire D2N2 area which are fully established and are now exploring the creative and digital sector to expand and develop hopefully, to become a major company in this key sector.

Cromford Mills Derbyshire [Credit Flickr]

Popular location for film production (Cromford Mills, Derbyshire)


Exploring D2N2's Creative and Digital

There are many locations within this area where creative digital sectors come to life. Particular employment lies within computing and software (especially in computer games programming and medical technology applications).

The Creative Quarter in Nottingham city is home to the National Videogame Arcade (NVA) a place for gaming enthusiasts to reminisce in video game nostalgia which is the only one of its kind in the UK. The NVA has been welcoming visitors for a few years now and during this time been a key asset to Nottingham and the sector by inspiring and providing key insight for curious visitors as well as an inspiration tool for future game entrepreneurs.

Across Nottinghamshire, there is a cluster of creative industries especially in the Dukeries area including inspiring art galleries such as the Harley Gallery, Thoresby Gallery and the Welbeck Estate. The setup of the Creative Greenhouse initiative provides networking opportunities for those creative businesses to branch out in the area.

There are opportunities for growth across the cities and counties, with Nottingham’s Creative Quarter and Cromford Mills (within the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site) just two such examples along with the key role of enhanced digital connectivity.

Programme Leads

The CDI Sector and Skills action group are working in a D2N2 wide consortia to develop a structure for collaboration within the sector. The group had also worked alongside the Creative Quarter who commissioned Economic Strategy Research Bureau (ESRB) and associates at Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University to develop the sector action plan from which the following actions have been identified.    

  • Support for sector visibility and marketing
  • Supporting initiatives to benefit businesses
  • Focussing effort on IT, Software and games development for growth

Through the D2N2 Growth Hub a number of businesses have been supported within the sector. Shown below is a few of these case studies:

For business support into this sector please visit: