Culture Minister in Birmingham to launch Creative City Initiative

Posted by lepadmin - October 25, 2011 - Business, Creative City Partnership, Newsroom - No Comments

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey will today urge West Midlands business leaders to invest in creative industries as part of ambitious plans to boost the economy of Greater Birmingham and Solihull.

The Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries will launch ‘Creative City’ – a groundbreaking Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) project aiming to secure investment for cultural and creative activities.

And, Chair of the GBSLEP, Andy Street, will unveil how the fund could support the creation of a new museum quarter in the city’s Eastside and the area’s growing creative businesses through improved infrastructure and support.

Bringing together partners from the public and private sector, Creative City is one of the first major initiatives of the LEP which aims to increase the area’s economic output (GVA) by 30% (£8.25 billion) and create 100,000 private sector jobs by 2020.

The Creative City initiative will play a significant role by:

Creating a fund to build on existing public sector funding of the arts through loans, grants, match-funding and investments. The allocation of funds will be based on the potential for job creation and economic growth.

Outlining the vision for a new ‘museum quarter’, including a new museum of photography and the development of a new contemporary art gallery.

Exploring ways to unlock private sector and philanthropic support for culture, linking cultural development to wider economic growth.

Ed Vaizey said: “I welcome this initiative by Birmingham City Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership, which will bring the support and enthusiasm of the private sector and the cultural public sector into a closer partnership. What is new here is the commitment of the LEP to integrate culture and the creative industries into its economic strategy, in partnership with the City Council and Birmingham’s cultural organisations.”

Chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, Andy Street believes the creative and cultural sectors have a major role to play in driving economic growth.

He added: “We want to create an environment which attracts businesses to invest here and existing ones to grow. Having a world-class cultural and creative offer is key to achieving this. Creative City is about building on all the assets that currently exist and multiplying the effect of our investments by working together.”

Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Transport, Environment and Regeneration, Cllr Timothy Huxtable, is seeking to identify £5 million for a fund and believes investment in the creative sector is vital to the city’s economic regeneration.

He said: “The art sector alone is worth £270 million and 9,000 jobs to the economy, whilst the creative and cultural industries together are worth a staggering £660million, employing 19,000 people.

“Now the aim is to co-ordinate public sector and private sector spend to further boost the economy and make our city an increasingly attractive place to live and work.”