As chairman of Somerset Innovation + Design its my job to watch out for the sector and make sure its not left out. This means making sure that the design, creative industries and innovation sector isn’t neglected or forgotten by public sector, councils and any strategic body planning economic or business strategies.
But having recently attended a HOTSW LEP consultation meeting regarding priorities for the South West I was amazed that creative industries were not listed or mention. This is quite a surprise when the creative industries produce £36b for the UK economy, generates £70,000 a minute and out of every £10 spent on exports creative industries represents £1.
Of course I publicly declared that creative industries needs to be included in the LEP’s strategy for investment and growth and to no surprise others have done so at other consultations throughout Somerset and Devon.
This simple story shows that without the work of SID and other design clusters in the South West the creative industries would or could be left behind or be given a back seat to support and future opportunities.
Our next challenge is to stay abreast of developments, opportunities, public funding and national projects that can feed the sector in Somerset and I hope we get together as businesses and collaborate to progress and show a unified approach to industry endeavours.
Andrew Knutt – Chairman Somerset Innovation + Design