Bude Creative Economy Project

What is the Creative Economy?

  • Those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property.

  • The sector also includes many non-profit people, particularly in the arts, music and other cultural activities.

Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)

Its importance to UK economy (2018 figures)

  • £111bn to the UK economy,

  • 3.2 million jobs

  • Growing five times faster than UK average growth,

  • 25% of all UK businesses.

UK Creatives image.png

(Image from www.thecreativeindustries.co.uk with thanks)

Scope of the Creative Economy

The Creative Economy is diverse; the DCMS defines 13 sub-sectors – though there are many other groups into which creatives can be classified:​

  • Advertising

  • Architecture

  • Art and antiques market

  • Crafts

  • Design

  • Designer fashion

  • Film and video

  • Interactive leisure software

  • Music

  • The performing arts

  • Publishing

  • Software and computer games

  • Television and radio

The need to optimise economic development locally

On a positive note:

  • Bude has a great reputation as a popular holiday resort.

  • Bude has developed an enviable reputation as an exemplar town for tackling climate change – as is evidenced by the £200,000 development grant from the National Lottery Climate Action Fund announced in August 2020, led by the Bude Climate Partnership with the support of BCCT. 

On the downside:

  • Average adult earnings in Bude are more than 25% below the national average, and lower than Cornwall as a whole; and with above-average levels of housing and child poverty.

  • Covid-19 has created huge social and economic challenges both locally and across the world.


But challenges of this nature provide opportunities – as we have seen by a significant increase in the use of digital technology, coupled with new ways of working.

There are indications that some people are opting to move away from metropolitan and urbanised areas to rural areas including coastal towns This trend is expected to continue.

It’s estimated that there are over 1500 micro businesses (businesses with 5 or less people) in the area and many of these are in the Creative sector.


Support from Cornwall Council and other developments

BCCT is working with Cornwall Council’s Culture & Creative Economy Team and we were one of many groups that provided feedback on the draft Creative Manifesto.  In November, Cornwall Council's Cabinet adopted unanimously the Creative Manifesto.  There are two versions - the full version, an interactive 28-page document, or the 8-page 'easy-read' PDF

The Manifesto includes four ‘Ambitions’ – • Community-based; • To find new ways of working; • Be sustainable and inclusive; and • To grow new talent.

Further support is available from the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Creative places, supporting your local creative economy published in 2020.

What does this mean for Bude?

BCCT’s mission is to pursue economic development in the area via partnership and collaboration.

BCCT has recently launched a business representation project - Bude Business Voice and the Creative sector initiative will work alongside and contribute to this project. 


The aim is to:

  • facilitate cooperation and collaboration among businesses within the sector,

  • provide a localised ‘one-stop shop’ offering a wide range of creative services and talent,

  • demonstrate the strength of community cohesiveness,

that will attract investment and funding support which in turn will lead to economic growth and the development of expertise in this sector.  The collective activity of environmental organisations has shown the way – and our objective is to replicate this approach in the Creative sector.

For some years, BCCT has been working on Bude having a community business hub - for use by all local businesses as well as community groups - but finding the funding and suitable premises is challenging, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.  

The British Council's interpretation of a creative hub is "a physical or virtual place that brings enterprising people together who work in the creative and cultural industries".  Until it's possible to set up a hub, we've opened a Facebook group Bude Creatives - a place where all those in the local cultural and creative sector can share their views and ideas.  Why not join the group and add a video to showcase your talent?

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