Young and In Brum

Here are some messages from last year that are as relevant in 2015 as we grow the creative economy in Birmingham and the West Midlands region. Last year the Young and In Brum article in The Drum magazine highlighted our direction of travel and this year we really are gearing for a bigger growth in the creative economy.

The West Midlands is at the centre of a creative jobs boom with over 20,000 new roles in just three years 2011-2013.

  • 9% of regional GVA and growing
  • Creative Economy larger in employment terms than construction and primary industries
  • Digital industries are outperforming engineering, financial and business services 

This increase has been hailed as evidence that the region, traditionally known as a manufacturing heartland, is also able to attract and nurture creative firms, particularly those in the IT and computer software industries.

The number of jobs in the creative industries rose from 78,000 in 2011 to 94,000 in 2013 in the West Midlands, an increase of 20% over three years.

In the same period, the overall total number of jobs in the region rose by just 3% illustrating the key role creative industries can play in creating wealth and employment in the region.

The biggest rise was in IT, software and computer services, where employment shot up from 29,000 to 43,000, up by 48%.

There was also a significant increase in jobs in music, performing arts and visual arts, up from 10,000 to 12,000.

And the number of jobs in film, TV, video, radio and photography rose from 6,000 to 9,000.

Almost a quarter of the UKs Computer Games workforce is located in the region. We know about Codemaster, but what about “Team Football” who have an official contract with Fifa or “Flix Interaction”, they are helping this sector to grow and are putting us on the international stage. It is estimated that tax breaks on video games production launched last year will create more than 5,000 UK jobs but these jobs will not just fall into our region we have to find, nuture and grow new developers if we want to be in this particular game!

Other parts of the country have also seen an increase in creative jobs but the national rise is just 10% over three years compared to our 20%.