Issues In Developing An Audio Visual Cluster In The West Midlands
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Issues In Developing An Audio Visual Cluster In The West Midlands

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Presentation to Regional Studies Association. September 2008

Presentation to Regional Studies Association. September 2008

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  • Cluster has had many names. Currently ‘Screen, Image, Sound’. Audio-Visual is probably most accurate.

Issues In Developing An Audio Visual Cluster In The West Midlands Issues In Developing An Audio Visual Cluster In The West Midlands Presentation Transcript

  • Issues in Developing an Audio-Visual cluster † in the West Midlands Dave Harte Birmingham City Unversity [email_address] † Also known as: Screen, Image, Sound / Interactive Media for Education and Entertainment / Media / Interactive Media /
  • Outlining the context in which a regional strategy for clustering has developed.
    • Sources:
      • My own experience
      • Academic literature
      • ‘ Grey’ literature
      • Meeting minutes / internal position papers / PowerPoints / application forms
  • My role
    • Author seconded to work with Regional Development Agency on cluster development from January 2003.
    • Ran delivery project from Oct 2005-March 2008
    Cluster Innovation Manager RDA Cluster Manager Business Link LSC Cluster Skills Manager Structure formed Jan 2003 Industry Steering Group (COG)
  • Outlining the context in which a regional strategy for clustering has developed.
      • Business Clusters
      • Tracing a history of cluster development
      • Why defining & counting accurately doesn’t matter
      • The influence of industry
      • Summary and key points
  • Business Clusters
    • “ [Cluster theory is] not only a tool for managers but also a microeconomic-based approach to economic development for governments that is closely tied to actual competition” Porter 1998
    • “ Despite the extensive academic debate over the definition of clusters, Porter’s work has come to represent the definitive explanation for policy makers and is central to UK Government guidance” Tully/Berkeley 2003
  • Business Clusters
    • “ His self-confident, authoritative and proselytizing style, lends his cluster concept an apparent authenticity and legitimacy that policy-makers have found difficult to resist.” Martin/Sunley 2003
  • Business Clusters
    • Martin/Sunley 2003
      • Porter’s ideas appeal over others due to emphasis on competitiveness.
      • Clusters concept ignores more complex work of economic geographers
      • Clusters untested, more a way of thinking than an economic tool
      • Concept will inevitably become unfashionable as it fails
  • A Local/National timeline national west midlands 1998 DTI Competitiveness White Paper 1999 Regional Economic Strategy 1999 BMW pull out of Rover 2001 DTI Clusters – First Assessment 2003 DTI Guide to Clustering 2008 Creative Britain 2001 Agenda for Action 2002 Cluster Needs Analysis 2005-2008 Cluster strategy 2008-2011 Cluster strategy 2004 Regional Economic Strategy 2008 RES 2001 DCMS CI Mapping 1998 DCMS CI Mapping Creative Economy Programme consultation 2005-2007 2003 Porter assessment of UK competitiveness 2004 Cluster Mapping study 2003 clusters set up
  • A Local/National timeline
    • Government support cluster agenda
      • Location Quotient methodology to identify clusters in regions in 2001
    • West Midlands:
      • 1999 Rover collapse significant
      • RDA pushes ahead with clusters as one of three delivery mechanisms
      • Cross-agency infrastructure developed
  • Local matters
    • “… .London dominates. While there is undoubtedly scope for considerable growth in the creative industries, attempts to develop strengths in other regions runs the risk of undermining the position of a globally competitive cluster”
    • DTI 2001 – First Assessment of Clusters
  • West Midlands – what they said
    • 1999 West Mids RES
      • Sector-based approach. CI mentioned. “There may be opportunities for developing clusters as the networks become established.”
    • 2001 DCMS Mapping
      • West Mids: Software, Interactive Leisure, Film, Art & Antiques Market, Advertising, Performing Arts.
    • 2001 DTI Clusters 1st Assessment
      • Software development, Arts and Antiques, Leisure Software
  • West Midlands – what they said
    • 2002 AWM Business Needs Analysis
      • TV and Broadcasting, Film, Music, Interactive Software and Games.
    • 2004 West Mids RES:
      • “ Recorded media manufacture, media production, distribution, content developers, specialist business services, content creators (education community/museums, etc). (11,000 employees)”
  • West Midlands – what gets measured
    • “ The Screen Image and Sound cluster is even more challenging to measure, for it represents a relatively narrowly defined sub-set of the creative industries, and it is particularly difficult to isolate those parts of the economy within the sector using official statistics.”
    • BOP Cluster Impact Study 2007
  • Screen, Image and Sound cluster
      • CI themselves difficult to measure, SIS even more difficult
      • SIS cluster has been poorly defined, no consistent measurement
      • 2004 Cluster Mapping study
        • SIC codes are included that could have been excluded
        • SIC codes are included in full that should have been subject to weightings
  • Headline figures 2001-2005
    • Based on BOP methodology:
      • 700 jobs lost
      • 100 more businesses
      • Size of sector remained same in relation to UK and to West Midlands
  • Headline Figures
    • “ Given that the scope and focus of the sector has evolved over time, it is essential to arrive at a new, clear definition of the sector, to state the rationale for the inclusion or exclusion of specific creative industries, and monitor its progress.”
    • BOP 2007
  • Outputs
    • £4.8 million of AWM RDA funds, leveraging in £2.8 million of EU funding plus millions of pounds of private match.
    • £14.7million of outputs generated by projects funded by the COG
    • This figure represents a 226% return on the COG and RDA’s investment according to the Agency’s Value for Money tool.
  • Outputs
    • 107 new jobs created
    • 77 jobs safeguarded
    • 40 people helped to get a job
    • 54 new businesses created or attracted to the region
    • 832 businesses assisted to improve their performance
    • 193 people gaining high level skills
    • 140 collaborations with the knowledge base
  • Developing Strategy
    • Misalignment
      • Govt identification of West Midlands Clusters and regional implementation.
      • Regional identification of CI clusters and continued support of ‘audio-visual’ cluster.
      • Mapping of CI nationally and mapping of CI locally.
  • Implementing Strategy
    • Cluster dominated by influence of industry group (COG)
    • Able to impose its own definitions of cluster
    • Focused on increasing share of public funds locally
    • Focus on lobbying and influence regionally and nationally
  • Summary
    • West Midlands enacted cluster policy speedily due to specific local circumstances
    • Little evidence of a critical understanding of clusters
    • Lack of understanding of scope of SIS cluster - impact on employment and business creation negligible?
    • Input of industry figures key
  • Key points
    • West Midlands has conceptualised its audio-visual industries as a business cluster
      • Little regard for regeneration / creative spaces
    • In West Midlands a shift to ‘Digital Media’ has allowed greater influence across sectors
      • 4ip / investment funding
  • Further research
    • Identifying success
    • Interviews with actors critical to cluster development
    • Closer analysis of data in order to better identify trends
    • Impact on other public funds during cluster development