February 2018

Creative Network South declaration

The success of the Solent’s creative economy is one of the area’s greatest hidden secrets. A recent NESTA study identified both Southampton and Portsmouth as being in the top 15 locations for creative industry employment growth. The creative industries are the fastest growing business sector in the Solent economy. They contribute a massive £1.5 billion to the local economy and employment in the sector has grown by more than 30% since 2010.

The creative sector includes activities such as:
• Advertising
• Architecture
• Design
• Film, TV, Radio and Photography
• IT, Software and Computer Services
• Publishing (including Electronic Publishing)
• Museums, Libraries, Galleries and Crafts
• Performing Arts and Music

The fastest growth rates are however digital; 75% of the new jobs are in IT Software and Computer Services and if the digital aspects of Design Architecture and Advertising are taken into consideration this figure rises to over 90%. Creative Network South (CNS) was established in 2012 in order to promote the growth of the creative economy in the Solent area. Since 2015 CNS has been hosted by Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, and members include businesses, freelancers, not for profit organisations, universities and local authorities. In January 2018 CNS published its Creative Industries Declaration for the Solent area.

This sets out four ambitions for the sector:

• Visibility – The creative economy in the Solent area should be made more visible.

• Enterprise – Creative and digital businesses should be given the support they require so they can drive growth.

• Skills and Progression – Creative businesses should be able to recruit the talent they need so they can thrive, and no one with talent should be excluded from building a career in the creative sector.

• Connectivity – The Solent area should aspire to be one of the best-connected places in which to establish a creative business.

The full version of the declaration is available on the Creative Network South website http://www.creativenetworksouth.co.uk/