Craig Wilson
Craig Wilson

Articles From the Team

Creative Clusters in the UK and the demand for in-house lawyers

An article by Insider Media recently highlighted a study compiled by Nesta and Creative England. The Geography of Creative study, found that in addition to more-established creative clusters, like London, Brighton, Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh and Liverpool, other areas are starting to have a significant impact.

The report goes on to state that creative industries are now widely recognised as a driver of UK jobs, innovation and growth, and that creative industries accounted for 1.9 million jobs and circa £81.4 billion or 5.2 per cent of the UK economy.

Interestingly for me, as an In-house Legal Recruitment Consultant with a focus on the Home Counties, Reading is the fourth largest creative cluster in the UK, and Luton is the sixth largest creative cluster. A total of 11.2 per cent of employment in Reading is in creative industries, with 78 per cent in software and digital. In Luton 12.6 per cent of its companies are in the creative industries.

Creative clusters have a dominant presence in London and the South-East, and together they account for approximately a third of all the clusters in the UK. Another one-fifth is found in the North of England. Around the major clusters there are several creative agglomerations which encompass more than one metropolitan area: an exampled in the South-East are agglomerations along the coast around Brighton, Southampton and Bournemouth.

Also in the South-East are smaller creative clusters – ‘creative conurbations’ – like Slough, High Wycombe and Guildford. These clusters specialise in a smaller number of creative sub-sectors with a high technology component. They are also associated with larger-sized creative businesses, and potentially higher levels of business productivity.

Interestingly however, it was found that the smaller creative clusters in Reading, High Wycombe and Guildford showed lower levels of networking activity relative to the size of their creative workforce, a narrower range of topics discussed and low levels of inter-sector networking. It was concluded that this was partly a reflection of the more specialised and large-firm nature of the creative activity in these clusters, as opposed to creative cities like Cambridge, Manchester and Edinburgh.

Please click below to see the original report and the Insider Media article I refer to above:

BCL Legal – opinion:

The report by Nesta and Creative England is not specifically aimed at legal professionals or the legal industry however the conclusions do help to point lawyers in the director of conurbations and cities where their legal and commercial skills may be keenly sought after.

Locations like Reading, Slough, Guildford, High Wycombe and Luton have all been named on this report as having a strong creative industry presence. Luton scored much higher than I would have expected and Reading is ahead of a number of major UK cities.

For lawyers with training and experience in commercial contract law, intellectual property law, brand/trademark law, media/digital media law, technology law, etc., these growing and expanding creative hotspots are the key locations to find in-house legal work. This can be in larger established companies, new entrants from abroad and smaller start-ups. There are also many opportunities in private practice too.

The locations highlighted on the report are all cities and towns where I and BCL Legal have worked with technology, media, telco and other creative industries large and small. Demand for experienced lawyers in the TMT sector, particularly within the Thames Valley is already significant and demand is growing all the time. This is also true for the largest creative hotspot, London.

Should you be interested in exploring opportunities with the creative industries, or more traditional commerce and industry sectors, please do not hesitate to contact BCL Legal and/or myself.

For more information contact Craig Wilson at BCL Legal.

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