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Nottingham’s Creative Ecology

cover of report - colourful wall art

References to “ecology” always make me first think of school science lessons, in particular the “class trip” where we had to count all the species we could find in a square yard of nature, somewhere outside school grounds.  Last night in the upstairs lounge at Cape we were treated to some results of a modern day investigation into the species and types of creative activity in Nottingham.  Prof Peter Totterdill, ex-NTU, who runs the UK Work and Organisation Network, explained the background to the EU funded project, CI Net,  looking at Creative Industries in Nottingham, Athens, Barcelona and the Portuguese town near Lisbon,  Cascais.  One of the key findings was the benefit of support for strengthening  collaborative  relationships  between entrepreneurs rather than just supporting individual enterprises.   I found this quite striking as it overlapped with some of the themes from last week’s Creative Class presentation: collaboration and the benefits of clusters such as (last week) BioCity, last night (Lace Market locations and the Creative Quarter generally).

Jo Welch

Jo Welch

Annie Haley

Annie Haley

Many other findings were discussed – the 53 page report on Nottingham’s Creative Ecology contains a wealth of background material, a summary of their survey of local creative entrepreneurs in Nottingham (also available in greater detail), and six case study interviews by Anna French.  I found these very interesting, the different paths people travel to their business, the problems encountered and the heartfelt advice for anyone wishing to make their own journey. Two of the csae study “stars” were present and I had the pleasure of talking to each of them: Jo Welch, of Jo Welch Creative, and Annie Haley of MultiPie.  Both women featured in the film shown last night, Angie Steps Out, in which a prospective creative entrepreneur talks to various current entrepreneurs who answer questions and give advice. You can view it on the CI-Net page.

The image of the report cover is taken from a Mixed Media Wall Art Design by Jo Welch (www.jokatywelch.com) used by permission of UKWON