Work Foundation partners with universities and industry to help deliver new Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre

film crew working in wintery conditions

The Work Foundation, which forms part of Lancaster University Management School, is joining a host of university and industry partners to deliver the Arts and Humanities Research Council's (AHRC) Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre, as announced by the AHRC today.

Led by Nesta, the consortium of partners at the Policy and Evidence Centre will produce independent and authoritative insight to aid policy and support the growth of the UK's creative industries - that are already worth more than £92bn to the UK economy.

This comes as part of significant R&D investment, announced by AHRC today, to support businesses working in the likes of screen industries, fashion and video games. The new Policy and Evidence centre will be an element of the Creative Industries Clusters Programme, a key strand of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, and will bring together world-class research talent with companies and organisations from across the UK’s nations in a first-of-its kind research and development investment. 

Lesley Giles, Director of the Work Foundation, said, "We are delighted to be part of this exciting new project which promises to connect leading research, stakeholders and policy makers to help the creative industries continue to thrive in all corners of the UK.

"Drawing on our experience and rich history over the last century, we will lead a particular strand of work focusing on skills, talent and diversity to progress a dynamic research agenda."

Professor Andrew Thompson, Executive Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, said: “Combining world-class arts and humanities researchers with our globally renowned creative industries will underpin growth in this vibrant and rapidly expanding sector within the UK economy.

“These pioneering partnerships between industry and universities are providing a huge vote of confidence for a sector that is vital to the future prosperity of the UK.” 

The establishment of a new Policy and Evidence Centre will address the fact that while the national economic strength of the UK’s creative industries is unquestioned, gaps in the evidence base still exist. Led by global innovation foundation Nesta, with university partners across the UK, the new centre will connect stakeholders within the sector, research communities, and policy makers. It will develop independent evidence that will inform decision-making across the creative industries and underpin future policy decisions. 

In addition to the Policy and Evidence Centre, the investment will reach each of the nine clusters identified in the Creative Industries Clusters Programme, which emerged from an open, rigorous and peer-reviewed selection process that began a year ago. They bring together a range of educational and commercial partners to tackle unique R&D challenges identified by a specific area of industry. The clusters span the UK: from Bristol and Bath, Yorkshire and the Humber and South Wales to Edinburgh, Dundee, Belfast, and the south east of England. 

The funded projects will accelerate growth in a range of creative sectors including the broadcast and screen industries, fashion textiles and technology, fashion design innovation, data and design, animation and videogames, digital storytelling and creativeaudiovisual. 

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