creative Birmingham has "unique Dna"


Anita Bhalla

Above: CCP chair Anita Bhalla champions Birmingham's creative potential.


Birmingham's creative industries could take advantage of the area's youthful, diverse population and "unique DNA", according to a leading representative of the city's creative community.

Speaking at an event to celebrate creative Birmingham, Anita Bhalla OBE, Chair of the Creative City Partnership (CCP), said: “Birmingham is loud, brash, proud and passionate. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves what we are and our unique DNA. We are the most diverse and youthful city in Europe, with under 24’s making 40% of population.

"Birmingham was also named most entrepreneurial city in the UK in 2014 which is a job well done but if we want to be top of the class we have to do better. We need to punch harder locally, nationally and globally. We need a joined up narrative that optimises our assets, innovation and profile. The creative industries are not a bit of icing on economic cake – they provide real jobs and real growth.

Over 120 people attended the event as representatives of the 3,450 creative businesses including design, advertising, video games, film, and publishing and contribute £1.25 billion to the local economy. The initiative, was co-hosted by the IPA and Creative Skillset, in local partnership with BPA, Creative Alliance and Creative England.

It provided a platform for public panel discussion of a recently published report into the city's creative potential which drew attention to the area's digital expertise and entrepreneurial cutlure, and clusters of creative activity such as the Custard Factory.

Panel participants included Marc Reeves, Publishing Director Midlands, Trinity Mirror Group, Andy Wilson, IPA City Head for Birmingham and Chief Executive, WAA, David Harte, Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications, Birmingham City University, Jaspal Sohal, Head of Games and Digital Media, Creative England, and Claire Paul, BBC Academy.

Panellists emphasised the need to nurture and promote the next generation of diverse talent and entrepreneurs.

Janet Hull OBE, Director of Marketing and Reputation Management, IPA, said: “Creativity pays. It pays £71.4 billion, to be precise, the current gross value added of the creative industries to the UK economy. This equates to £8 million an hour. However, we need a shared vision to ensure the UK’s creative industries remain world leaders and Creative Birmingham is a vital cluster in realising this vision.”

The next Creative Britain event will take place in Manchester on Wednesday 3rd September. For further details, please contact

On 2nd July the Creative Industries Council launched a new strategy for the UK Creative Industries to reinforce the UK’s position as a world leader.