Here’s a message from our friend Peter Jenkinson, some of you know him, some of you may have no idea who he is. During 2007, CIDS commissioned research into the creative industries in Greater Manchester. This was undertaken by Manchester Enterprises and included questionnaires and one to one consultations with a selection of companies. In September, CIDS hosted some consultation sessions to give feedback on the outcomes. Attached are the summaries. The Music Network would like to hear your comments and opinions. Some of the points identified may or may not be applicable to the Midlands region. Perhaps we could start some discussions?

The full research report can be accessed through the website: under ‘CIDS Projects’.

Thanks to Peter Jenkinson, Administrator
UK – Music Sector Forum
PO Box 121, Stockport, SK6 5WB
Regional networking with the Music Sector Forum


Creative / Digital / New Media Development Services Demand Study
here’s a text version of one of the documents to give you an idea……..


The development of Mediacity:uk will be transformational and bring significant opportunities and benefits for the digital and creative industries. This action plan outlines steps that need to be taken in the build up to mediacity:uk to help realise this vision. It outlines the key challenges faced by the sector and a series of strategic actions which are intended to achieve growth and address weaknesses. The Action Plan will be delivered in the context of the NWDA’s regional digital and creative strategy and the sub regional action plan (SRAP) for the Manchester City Region which is the responsibility of Manchester Enterprises. The action plan has been informed by research commissioned by CIDS during 2007.

Greater Manchester City Region: Greater Manchester + surrounding area including parts of Cheshire, Lancashire and High Peak, Derbyshire

Digital and creative industries: 13 sub sectors as defined by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). This includes digital content and software but not ICT hardware and infrastructure. This is in contrast to the NWDA digital and creative industries cluster which does include ICT.

• Gross Value Added (GVA) 2003: 63% of the economic output of the sector in the North West is generated from the MCR. This is expected to grow at a rate of 3.8% equating to a total increase of £2.2bn between 2006 and 2021
• Employment 2004: 77,100 which is 5.2% of total employment. Forecast growth + 1.2% per annum or 1.6% per annum if accelerated: 25,000 additional jobs by 2021

KEY ISSUES (from survey 2007)
1. Recruitment:
• There is a high level of hard to fill vacancies and significant gaps in higher level skills including technical, managerial, creative, commercial
• The most common entry routes require graduate qualification and experience
• Graduates starting work lack key skills for employment and there is little training available to address this

2. Business Prospects:
• Businesses have maintained their turnover over the past 12 months and expect it to increase in the next 12 months
• Growth is planned through expanding the market for existing products and services and is likely to mean employing more staff as well as increasing sales

3. Trade and Markets:
• There is a high level of trade between businesses within the digital and creative sector
• Local and regional markets predominate, with less than a quarter having trade links outside the UK although there is interest in developing these in future
• The largest market in the region is the public sector

4. Innovation:
• There is a high level of innovation, with about half introducing new products or services in the last 12 months
• A significant proportion of annual turnover is accounted for by new products and services
• There is little formal investment in research and development, even though innovation is a feature of the industry

5. Business Location:
• Positives: talented and creative staff; access to communications; image as a place where businesses can grow and be successful; industry networks
• Negatives: availability of affordable businesses accommodation in the city centre; quality of generic business support services

The Digital and Creative Industries have grown significantly and businesses have a high level of confidence in future growth. Public sector ambition for the sector is strong with the plans for mediacity:uk and location of BBC departments to the area now in the planning stage. The sector has not yet reached ‘critical mass’ and skills shortage and leakage of talent are a threat to sustainability. There is an opportunity for the public and private sectors to work together to develop the Manchester City Region as a creative hub with global significance, and this will require a proactive programme to enable business growth with the area and to attract business and investment into the area and to enable new talent to emerge.


ICT infrastructure: the MCR region will need an excellent ICT infrastructure which will send a signal that Manchester is in the vanguard of innovation and attract inward investment of specialist digital content and ICT companies. Change regulations so that businesses can tap into the existing ICT infrastructure of the universities and / or invest in high speed broadband capacity that businesses can access

City South: individuals and businesses to have more opportunity to set aside time or to invest in developing new ideas or ways of working Create a ‘living lab’ in the Oxford Road area – a place where people from different disciplines can meet and work together, to collaborate or research: creative businesses, universities, artists, technologists

Innovation: the MCR region to be recognised globally for its technical, commercial and creative ambition: engender a ‘Future Culture’ Develop an ‘eco system’, an environment of trust where businesses can participate in networks, events and online forums to share ideas and find partners in innovation
Inward investment and marketing: build a critical mass of creative businesses, so that people with specialist skills can sustain a career in the area and there is a ‘net gain’ of talent and experience in the region Work with the Manchester brand to create a strong profile which will attract people and business to the area and which will be of benefit to businesses selling into London and other markets

International programme: the majority of business is with local and regional markets – and often with other creative businesses. In the long term businesses will need to develop markets outside the region and internationally Build activities around events such as the Manchester Festival and In the City where people can make international links; raise awareness of international market opportunities and examples of success
World Class Skills: there are significant skills gaps that need to be addressed and a lack of training opportunities; the city region needs to cultivate creative leaders to inspire excellence Provide better information about leadership and management opportunities; build a strong bridge with higher and further education; develop peer networks among creative and cultural leaders

Location: creative businesses have been instrumental in transforming the city region but are now finding they are priced out of the city centre as commercial rents and rates rise. Identify the key locations where businesses are clustered and find ways to offer financial incentives for independent creative businesses which can contribute to the vitality and distinctiveness of the area

Ladder of Opportunity: the majority of recruitment into the industry is at a high level (graduate + experience): residents and people from ethnic minorities find it difficult to find routes into employment. This lack of diversity will have an impact on the competitiveness of businesses in the future Make it easier for businesses to take on people who have talent and potential but lack formal education or qualifications; work with the sector skills councils who are designing apprenticeships and skills academies; support links between businesses and schools

Networks: the digital and creative sector is made up of a few large companies and a mass (over 90%) of small business units; the businesses models and markets are very diverse. People working in the sector rely on informal networks to find suppliers and markets and to share knowledge Build an effective networking environment with virtual communications; events; opportunities to mix with larger companies, professional services, buyers; support business to business connections such as peer mentoring to help solve problems