“We are sick and tired of hearing about Manchester” NE creatives fight back

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

“We are sick and tired of hearing about Manchester and other regions. Of course they are good at shouting about themselves but a lot of it is smoke and mirrors in my view.

“Most of their decent companies are corporate owned and, while there is nothing wrong with that, we now need to realise that this region is fiercely independent.”

That’s how Jim Mawdsley, the CEO of Generator, kicked off a campaign to promote the creative sector in the North East.

It was to promote the Digital Union, a membership network representing creative digital companies in the region. Generator, which oversees it, is seeking to strengthen the sector.

The Shining The Spotlight event took place at the Wylam Brewry in Newcastle, where Digital Union also unveiled its new media strategy and a brand campaign called #ThisIsMine. This will be rolled out to all members of the organisation to inspire collaboration and entrepreneurship.

“As a sector, we are in charge of our own destiny and possess much more creative flair than other regions. It is time for the North East creative digital community to come of age,” continued Mawdsley.

“We need to shine the spotlight on all of the amazing work that is being produced here. We need the national media to know what we're doing and that the North East is not only a hot bed for creative digital talent but also an amazing collaborative and dynamic cluster.”

Generator’s role is to grow the sector and improve on the current figure of £33,613.77 per individual GVA contribution to the UK economy currently achieved in the North East LEP area of Newcastle, Gateshead, Durham and Sunderland. They point out that this is a figure higher than the GVA per person of Greater Manchester.

“The creative digital sector contributes £1.25bn and 18,000 jobs to the economy here yet we aren’t as well known as we should be and this is a barrier to growth,” explained Ben Quigley, of Everything Different.

“Creative digital businesses are often under capitalised and under skilled and have unequal access to infrastructure they need to reach their potential.

“Supporting collaboration and promoting the great stuff we are inventing here through campaigns such as #ThisIsMine is a brilliant way to make change start happening and show that we are #InventingTheFuture.”

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