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Coventry in “right place” to expand digital creative sector following City of Culture win


  • Report into the potential of the city’s digital creative sectors finds that there is “much to play for”, says Professor Jonothan Neelands, Research lead of the Executive Bid Committee of Coventry 2021
  • 60% of Coventry firms agree that Coventry is a ‘Creative and innovative’ city.
  • Digital creative firms in the City now have annual turnover of more than £0.5bn.
  • In 2016 Coventry contained 1138 digital creative enterprises, an increase from 663 in 2006, employing over 3600 people
  • Digital Creative Sectors in Coventry: Trends and Potential, part of the Coventry Great Place project, was written by Stephen Roper (Warwick Business School), Areti Gkypali (Warwick Business School), Jane Sanderson (Coventry University) and Lorraine Morley (Morley Associates Ltd)
  • Click here to read or download the full report.

Coventry City of Culture 2021

Coventry is in the “right place for new and expanding digital creative businesses”, a new report into the potential of the city’s digital creative sectors has found.

Produced as the city was working on the winning bid to be the UK’s City of Culture in 2021 the report, Digital Creative Sectors in Coventry: Trends and Potential, was written by researchers from University of Warwick’s Warwick Business School, Coventry University and Morley Associates.

“Coventry is the right place for new and expanding digital creative businesses”, says the report’s lead author, Professor Stephen Roper of Warwick Business School. “It offers a rich, vibrant and diverse cultural experience and a rapidly developing digital infrastructure, both of which are essential to strengthening creative clusters in the City that could significantly impact on the local and regional economy”.

The research found that in 2016 3669 people were employed in Coventry’s digital creative sector across 1138 firms, an increase from 663 a decade before, and that almost 60% of Coventry firms agreed that the city is a ‘Creative and innovative’ city.

Identifying trends and development in the growth of digital creative businesses in Coventry and some of the opportunities and challenges for the future growth of the sector, the report calls for stronger connections between local and regional cultural, digital and investment initiatives to boost the growth of Coventry as a vibrant creative cluster interacting with digital clusters in Birmingham and Warwickshire.

“Coventry is not yet a hot-spot for the digital creative sector”, say the authors, but argue that “the growth of the supply chain of digital engineering to support major advanced manufacturing organisations like Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and London EV Company provides an opportunity to develop synergies with new digital creative, design and other Creative Industries.

“External perceptions of the City are changing. Coventry is becoming a significant city with a transformed cultural offer. Two award winning universities and a new Cultural Place Partnership supported by the City Council and local businesses have ambitious plans to drive local and regional economic growth through harnessing our industrial strengths, heritage, human and diverse cultural resources.”

Evidence in the report from interviews with estate agents and businesses found that Coventry will need to develop additional digital creative work spaces in places, such as Far Gosford Street, in order to satisfy a demand but cites ambitious plans currently under consideration to expand spaces in this area of the city.

“Bold plans like this could provide the ideal mix of work–spaces and digital infrastructure in projects that combine digital creative growth with local heritage and cultural assets” says Professor Jonothan Neelands of Warwick business School and the Research lead of the Executive Bid Committee of Coventry 2021, who argue that their research demonstrates that there is “much to play for.”

Digital Creative Sectors in Coventry: Trends and Potential, part of the Coventry Great Place project, was written by Stephen Roper (Warwick Business School), Areti Gkypali (Warwick Business School), Jane Sanderson (Coventry University) and Lorraine Morley (Morley Associates Ltd)

14 December 2017

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