The Creative and Cultural industries are a national success story. This research aims to regionalise the research by focusing it here in Leeds.
The creative and cultural industries is a term used to collectively refer to a broad range of businesses. From Museums and Galleries, to Software Design and Architecture, the businesses brought together under the creative and cultural industries label have creative or cultural output at their heart. It's estimated that there are 3400 creative sector companies in the city, employing up to 30,000 people. Regionally, Leeds is an important centre of creative and cultural industries activity, constituting 22% of the total employment in the sectors for the whole Yorkshire and Humber region. As Leeds enters the race to become EU capital of culture in 2023, signifying a growing civic confidence in the cities creative and cultural offerings, this research seeks to find out what it is about Leeds that makes its creative and cultural industries buzz.
It's hard to say exactly who's here. There are the obvious big names in the fabric of our creative and cultural city; Opera North, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Northern Ballet, Leeds Arena, ITV Studios, and our libraries, galleries, and museums to name a few. Then there are the agencies working with global blue chip clients, the SME's working with a national and regional portfolio, and the freelancers doing everything else in between, all delivering creative and cultural output from Leeds, and out into the World. A large part of this research concerns itself with discovering and mapping a cross section of the creative and cultural workers in the city, and finding out about their own visions of creative Leeds.
WHERE IS EVERYONE?
A strip of film and television production along Kirkstall Road, an urban village of media and technology firms in Holbeck, a cluster of museum and gallery professionals in the museum quarter, and lots more, both scattered around and grouped together, right across our city. You are all connected; if you're illustrating from a café in Headingley or bug-fixing software in a city central high-rise, you are a part of Leeds' creative and cultural workforce. Perhaps there are specific hotspots of activity, clusters of creativity, and places where you all hang out - this research intends to map these locations, to find the scenes and where they overlap, and to capture a snap shot of creative Leeds from the perspective of creative and cultural workers, wherever you're based.