Creative Industries Spatial Policy in the UK, 1995-present

Jon Swords, Rebecca Prescott

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The aim of this article is to explore the construction of spatial policy for the creative industries in the UK over the last three decades. The nature of much creative work benefits from, and therefore leads to co-location of firms, practitioners, supporting organisations and infrastructure. Since the advantages of a buoyant creative economy were recognised by policymakers in the 1990s, developing spatial policy to enhance these benefits has been a focus for governments at various scales across the world. These policies have been prompted by changing motivations, with different aims and using different interventions. This article traces UK’s central government interventions in the creative industries since the mid-1990s. UK creative industries policy has been incredibly influential and exported around the world, and this influence has led to a great deal of examination and critique, meaning there is plenty of literature for us to review. We begin by tracing the development of creative industries spatial policy in the UK through three time periods: mid-1990s-2009, 2010-2020, 2020 to present day. In so doing, we identify the interplay of policy and academic work, highlight key ideological drivers for policy development and offer critique of prevailing policy discourses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-186
Number of pages10
JournalLocal Economy
Issue number2
Early online date25 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2023

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