Whilst there has been consistent communication and collaboration between Bristol and Cardiff in recent years, particularly around R&D programmes, a number of linked factors combine to make a more extensive look at connections and potential opportunities for a more active partnership between the two cities timely.
- The growing strength of both Bristol and Cardiff as creative industry clusters, particularly in media and screen-based production.
- The two AHRC CICP cluster projects developed in Bristol and Cardiff and their legacy.
- The current UKRI Strength in Places Funding (SIPF) projects, MyWorld and Media Cymru – the only two SIPF projects in the UK to focus on the creative industries and taken together large-scale parallel investments.
- Increased (anecdotal) evidence of commercial industry linkage across the two cities.
Combined, Bristol and Cardiff have the strength to become a regional powerhouse in media-based creative industry innovation, and to spearhead further developments with a national and international significance.
On behalf of University of Bristol and Cardiff University I’m leading a project to explore the proposition of a Bristol / Cardiff Creative Industries Axis. The aim of the Creative Industries Axis project is effectively two simple linked tasks:
- Capturing in detail the current position of the creative industries in the two cities (and visible development trends)
- Evaluating that detail, including in the context of wider economic and political factors, to generate a set of recommended collaborative actions or future strategic activities
Currently deep in a data analysis phase, the intention is to then broaden out the research to stakeholders and industry with an end goal of developing a compelling narrative to capture and promote the scale and capability of the combined Axis; and to propose practical and actionable forward looking recommendations.