The ability to be creative is what differentiates human beings from both animals and computers. Imagination and creative
expression dates back to pre-history, with some cave paintings thought to be the work of Neanderthals. Now in the 21st century, creativity expressed in all its diversity has an ever-increasing power to enrich our communities and boost our economies.

Creativity has a vital role in affecting how a place both defines itself and is seen by outsiders. People like living in places with a thriving creative and cultural life. Local creative economies have benefited from ‘agglomeration’ – clusters of creative enterprises and individuals that feed and inspire, in turn, more creativity. The resulting innovation benefits businesses from the wider ‘non-creative’ sectors as well:

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Worked example: Local creative economy mapping.

As the UK faces the challenges of the 21st century, creativity has a role to play in shaping our response to climate change, globalisation and technological innovation – and in enabling the economy and society to ‘bounce forwards’ from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Making places resilient and outward looking depends on creative activities of all kinds – in our professional and personal lives, in the local economy and civil society.

The UK’s creative industries have been an international powerhouse and, prior to the coronavirus pandemic were the fastest growing sector of our economy. With that in mind, Golant Innovation has partnered with The Local Government Association to publish this guide to how councils can best support local creative economies at a time without precedent.

The guide is designed to help councils understand the creative sector, illustrated by examples and case studies and with tips from councils across England. Whilst the majority of the research and drafting was undertaken before the COVID-19 crisis, the measures outlined are still vital to supporting what is an incredibly important asset to our local economies and communities.

Get the guide to supporting your creative economy.