Creative and Digital Industries

Creative and Digital Industries is a vast sector having a wide range of media fields. Some of these key fields include video and film production, photography, music, book publishing, radio/TV broadcasting, computer games development, social media as well as the 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 through supplying software services and digital technologies for automotive, life sciences, visitor economy and construction sectors encouraging innovation and design quality.

D2N2 is home to many creative and digital businesses, including Purpose Media (pictured)
Launch of the ENTER Festival in Nottingham
Launch of ENTER 2015 (Credit Simeon Hartwig)

The use of big data and open data to be able to map trends and forecast needs is vital to the development of the sector. Different data sources are used to pinpoint what specifically the business wants to find out by using the different pieces data to find out the exact details for the area/time/sector in a larger sea 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 weather data, visitor data, data from research used into marketing (such as the kinds of shots and colours people respond best to) in order to create an effective film on a day with the desired weather and volume of visitors with the desired effects to be successful.

Creative and Digital Industries is an important international strength not only for D2N2 but for the UK, as well as being a significant employer in D2N2 accounting for over 26,000 employees, approximately 40% of the 26,000 (10,400) employed is in the two cities. It is likely that this figure understates the true employment level as there are a large number of sole traders and microbusinesses in this sector that might not be captured by the official data sets but also businesses that are established which are now exploring the creative and digital sector as the business develops and expands.

Cromford Mills, Derbyshire
Cromford Mills Derbyshire [Credit Flickr]

Particular employment specialisms in D2N2 lie in computer and software (especially in computer gaming and medical technology applications). Nottingham is home to the National Videogame Arcade (NVA) in the Creative Quarter - which is the only one of its kind in the UK. The NVA has been open for a year and during this time been an asset to Nottingham and the sector, opening up the possibilities to the public and the next generation of workers. There is a cluster of creative industries in the Dukeries area of Nottinghamshire (including the Harley Gallery, Thoresby Gallery and the Welbeck Estate) and the Creative Greenhouse initiative provides networking opportunities.

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.

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 and these case studies are linked below: