Creative Clusters and City Growth

Bagwell, Sue (n.d.) Creative Clusters and City Growth. Creative industries journal. ISSN 1751-0694


Considerable attention has been focused on the potential of the creative industries to contribute to economic development and regeneration. Creative clusters (networks of interconnected companies, and associated institutions operating in close proximity) are a favoured concept for identifying groups of companies on which to target intervention and through which to implement strategies for delivering this growth. Almost every region in the country now has a policy to target key local creative clusters. Recently clusters have been promoted as a means of encouraging the regeneration of deprived inner city areas (Porter, 1995) and this US inspired model of business led regeneration has led to the introduction of the City Growth Strategy (CGS) initiative in the UK. This paper draws on the work of an on-going evaluation of one of the initial pilot City Growth areas - the City Fringe area of London where six different creative clusters are being targeted as a means of stimulating economic development and social inclusion in the area. Drawing on baseline research with one of the most established clusters (jewellery) the paper explores the degree to which the jewellery cluster gains competitive advantage from clustering in its inner city location, and the extent to which it is able to contribute to the regeneration of the local area. It thus provides a critique of Porter’s theory and contributes to our understanding of the extent to which creative clusters can act as a tool for inner city regeneration

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