Economic and social development driven by the cultural and creative sectors has proved to be a flexible and successful instrument in many cities and regions and is now a common feature of an integrated development policy.
Culture and its related industries are often natural vehicles for local development. Cultural organisations are usually well known in their local communities and frequently have national and international reach. They can use their position, their physical presence and facilities and the skills of their staff and associates to have a real impact, especially at a local and regional level.
They can :
create direct employment
inspire innovation both within businesses and in the wider community
become the focus for new business activity and cluster development
provide rich digital content, promote new applications of ICT and stimulate the development of the information society
attract attention and become an important tool for marketing and promotion
provide training and help develop new competences
engage with disadvantaged groups.
Culture actually encompasses a range of activities going beyond fine arts and heritage and core cultural industries. At a more strategic level, it can provide a common theme unifying development processes and be a good way of engaging the local community in them. It can motivate activities across a range of sectors building bridges and creating synergies and imparting a sense of momentum. It represents an important element in the branding and marketing of cities and regions as well as specific goods and services.
For most regions and localities, it should form a distinctive element in integrated development strategies and long-term planning.
You will find in the core section of the site examples of what the cultural and creative sectors have achieved in areas that include:
- providing the focus for the rehabilitation of industrial sites and deprived areas
- the integration of disparate activities into effective creative clusters
- generating spill over effects on sectors linked with innovation
- a distinctive approach to raising the skills and promoting the integration of disadvantaged groups
Use this information to build effective communication with your counterparts in the cultural sector, and in other sectors such as education, business and innovation promotion, and economic and urban planning.