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Guest Blog: Independent Creative Quarter and Beyond

red robot in group of white robots

[Creative Nottingham welcomes guest blog posts from local creatives about our local creative initiatives. We have blogged many times about the Creative Quarter.   Today we have extracted a section of a recent blog post by Phil Campbell on this subjecct. You can read the original on his Mutherbored blog. has been the subject of many of our own posts.  If you would like to contribute, write to us (editor AT or comment on this post.  Now over to Phil:]

red robot in group of white robotsafter the recent meeting of existing businesses in the Creative Quarter at the designer forum it’s apparent to me that we are turning a corner in the way the creative quarter in nottingham is going to be formed. i’ve already bumped into a bunch of creatives who will not be in the creative quarter as the one that is being rolled out as it simply does not support them.

that’s why we are deciding to build our own independent creatives portal that aggregates content from a variety of creatives in and around the city and will not align with existing funded business networks, we will build this on sweat equity.

standalone listing time relevant information in a quick and easy lookup fashion for local creatives and digital tourists considering dropping into the city. we will have a feature for people to submit feeds. we will crowdsource to help on our build costs when needed and be transparent about that and film behind the scene meetings of the features we roll out. ..

we will aim to do the following.

  • not align to any existing project or council owned system (totally independant)
  • allow for all creatives who are making and blogging on their own hosted websites free and forever to get hyperlinked back to source.
  • information will automatically get shared on the pi street project to amplify you.
  • put on events as funds allow to help you get question(s) answered at gathers.
  • when time allows record a video gallery/portfolio at designated spaces for free.
  • build an app for quick viewing of the web content (iPad/iphone/android)
  • super smart geofenced company awareness module (we haz ideas that are really cool)
  • aim to head to south by southwest (sxsw) next march 2014 to show how we went about it

over the last year i personally have watched a subsection of the nottingham business community systematically position and support the people that they want to support.

it’s great for those existing networks but it will not bring you the next facebook or instagram into nottingham. that’s not where it will come from by locking down who gets put forward and who does not.

i know, i know – try and keep these things positive phil, and that in some ways is why i’m going to head this approach. that’s how much cynicism has been installed from the last few years of trying to find a creative media hub space that functions like every other one i’ve ever been to for the last five years. i’ve not found one in nottingham yet that is truly a nottingham hub that has each others back. we really need to solve this fragmentation regardless of what we ‘think’ of each others approach, business or ethics.

i’m really looking for the co-working, creative hub space where you have an open plan floor with different startups, shared whiteboards, events that are in the calendar, shared lunch tables, crossing the streams, live video each day, local food ordering in. the usual stuff!

the independent portal is one way of being a conduit into making all of this globally visiable. i’ll be putting together some sketch ideas of what could be. i think it will be an interesting hybrid which could then also be used in other creative quarters across the uk.

i do not subscribe to this ‘now things are in place everything starts from now’ you just in one foul swoop pissed off the creatives who have been giving back to this city (often from their own money) for the last few years. it’s what makes a creative/artist passionate about creating

i’ll be interested to see how the creative quarter loans achieve something collectively for the creative quarter as a whole apart from create more potential ‘high growth’ for the companies involved, interested to know how that drips down into the quarter community. i’m guessing more jobs for local people. right? ok. cool.

a new map has been created for the creative quarter that is going up on the wall near the corner. this is great news for independents and businesses alike. it’s a nice touch that is so needed to communicate who is who and so the spread and breadth of creative people in the area.

it’s great to know who people are and what feeds into the locality. fits wonderfully with the ethos with pi street in that we want to make our independents and the footfall be aware of what’s happening instead of hearing about things far to late which has often been the case for events.

as an independent creator and creative i don’t feel the need to align with anyone to be able to passionately create for the community i frequent. not all independent creatives need to be part of something to be able to make wonderfully useful things but in the past when i have i have always ound ‘my’ people. a two way street instead of a vulcan mind meld to extract the good bits.

not bitter. moving on. independently.


Images used are taken from Phil’s Mutherbored site with permission.

Phil Campbell and daughterPhil Campbell is involved in so many activities he has a whole blog post  explaining them. You can follow him on twitter as @philcampbell