Susannah Storey Director General for Digital and Media at the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) joins with Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region and Lancashire to open new Creative Leaders Festival on 19-20 August.

In collaboration with Liverpool City Region and Lancashire, The Growth Company has developed a two-day virtual event, to address the challenging trading circumstances now facing creative sector businesses as a result of the pandemic.

Prior to the pandemic, the North West’s creative sector was thriving, with Manchester heralded as the second largest Creative City in Europe, contributing over £1.4 billion to the UK economy annually and becoming an increasingly important sector.  The collective creative passion across the regions is phenomenal, with a hunger to overcome these unpredicted times.

The Festival, which is delivered by GC Business Growth Hub and supported by Creative England, Scale-up Institute, Creative Industries Federation, Boost Business Lancashire, Liverpool Growth Platform and the Intellectual Property Office will feature over 45 speakers and will showcase the wide range of support and solutions which are available to Creative sector businesses on a regional and national level.

It aims to explore solutions and opportunities that have arisen from the difficult pandemic driven circumstances for the creative sector. The festival’s focus is twofold, on one side it will highlight all the support and development opportunities currently available for creative business and on the other it will explore challenges and help creative industry stakeholders better understand what further support is needed for the North West’s creative sector to recover, flourish and grow once again.

Both days will offer significant learning opportunities, with political leadership sharing insights around the importance of programmes such as the Creative Scale-Up, and drawing attention to other regional support programmes as well as highlighting what future support looks like from a Government standpoint.  As well as this there will be sub sector roundtables, interactive sessions to share knowledge, and peer-to-peer networking opportunities.

Sarah Novotny, Digital, Creative & Tech Sector Lead at GC Business Growth Hub added: “This Festival will emphasise the true collaborative nature of creative businesses in the North West; how versatile the sector is and explore how it can maintain its unique innovative, ground-breaking and globally renown position.

It will also highlight the importance of creative business support, and how critical local connections and networks are. People like to connect and do business with people they know or can easily meet, which is why GC Business Growth Hub programmes such as the Creative Scale-Up Programme put a lot of emphasis on community building and peer to peer learning.

The strengths of the North West can sometime be overlooked, and thus we’re excited to be able to put our first-class creative sector and the brilliant education system, that nurtures a wealth of outstanding creative skill-sets into the spotlight.

We at the GC Business Growth Hub have a collective mission to guide our GM creative sector through current obstacles, help them adapt but also pinpoint all opportunities for growth. We are encouraging the creative sector to get in touch with us either at the Festival or through our GC Business Growth Hub enquiries hotline.”

 

Andrew Leeming, programme manager, Boost, said: “We have a fantastic creative sector in all corners of Lancashire. From marketing to web design and film companies, there are so many success stories of local creative firms, often collaborating with other Lancashire companies, to help improve their business, amplify their brand visibility and show Lancashire as an excellent place to do business.

Both the public and private sectors have a duty to support these businesses however we can. Events like this help to bring together talent and expertise from right across the North West – highlighting Lancashire’s successes to the world and giving Lancashire business leaders a chance to network and collaborate outside of their local peer groups. We would advise all creative businesses in Lancashire to engage with Boost and let us help you find the right support to help your business grow.”

Paul Corcoran, Co-chair Liverpool City Region Digital & Creative boardcommented: “The creative sector is of critical importance for the Liverpool City Region and one that I am passionate about leading as co-chair of the LCR Digital & Creative Board. The breadth of what we do in the City Region is truly awe-inspiring. Not only do we have a strong games sector, which has led us to develop a growing cluster of immersive companies, we also pride ourselves on our thriving film, TV and music scenes – all of which contribute to a lively and diverse sector across our region.

Importantly, we also have many support initiatives; from funding, leadership programmes and peer networks in place to help these businesses grow and create jobs. From a personal point of view, I am particularly keen to nurture future talent and ensure it is equipped with what the industry needs. It is days like these that inspire us all to work more collaboratively and open our minds to the possibilities for our businesses and our City Region.

We hope you are able to join us and over 250 creatives already registered.”

To see the full schedule and to get your fully funded tickets, please visit:  https://hopin.to/events/creative-leaders-festival