Cheshire East Council’s Skills and Growth Company has created a new taskforce to boost the creative and digital sector across the borough.
Called the Weave network, the industry-led group will promote the sector, address skills gaps and help ensure creative and digital businesses can continue to flourish.
Cheshire East is home to a thriving creative cluster with 2,000 businesses in the sector employing around 7,500 people and with a combined turnover of over £250m per year. This includes specialisms such as programming, software development, game and app design, website building and advertising.
Although a majority of the sector’s businesses are small, with around 80 per cent employing less than 10 staff, the borough is also home to a number of truly world-leading businesses. These include: Warner Bros-owned TT Fusion, makers of Lego games, in Wilmslow; ThinkPositive’s newly-established European design centre, in Bollington; Barclays global technology centre, in Knutsford; and McCann, in Prestbury, the largest advertising agency outside London.
The creative and digital sector has grown 30 per cent faster than the average for the economy in recent years and is set to deliver further significant growth in the future as the use and sophistication of digital applications increases.
Weave chair Denise Proctor said: “Our creative businesses have a proven track record of award-winning innovation and regularly top the league tables of the most influential industry-leading expertise. Weave will celebrate our strengths, ensure we can both retain and attract skilled staff and be equipped to face the challenges of a rapidly-evolving sector.”
Councillor George Hayes, chairman of the Skills and Growth Company, said: “Cheshire East is home to some of the most diverse and dynamic businesses in the county. We are delighted to help to raise the profile of our creative and digital sector and celebrate their achievements, whilst securing future growth.”
New members from the creative and digital sector are welcome and Weave will be hosting a series of thought-provoking ‘Town Talks’ as part of the SHIFT programme – celebrating digital arts and creative technology across Cheshire East, and funded by Arts Council England and Cheshire East Council. The ‘Town Talks’ start on 4th May focussing on the games design cluster in Cheshire East, in partnership with Gameopolis. For more details on the Weave network, and Town Talks visit: www.weave.org.uk or book here.