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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

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Issues In Developing An Audio Visual Cluster In The West Midlands

  1. 1. 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 /
  2. 2. Outlining the context in which a regional strategy for clustering has developed. <ul><li>Sources: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>My own experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Academic literature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Grey’ literature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meeting minutes / internal position papers / PowerPoints / application forms </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. My role <ul><li>Author seconded to work with Regional Development Agency on cluster development from January 2003. </li></ul><ul><li>Ran delivery project from Oct 2005-March 2008 </li></ul>Cluster Innovation Manager RDA Cluster Manager Business Link LSC Cluster Skills Manager Structure formed Jan 2003 Industry Steering Group (COG)
  4. 4. Outlining the context in which a regional strategy for clustering has developed. <ul><ul><li>Business Clusters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tracing a history of cluster development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why defining & counting accurately doesn’t matter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The influence of industry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Summary and key points </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Business Clusters <ul><li>“ [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 </li></ul><ul><li>“ 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 </li></ul>
  6. 6. Business Clusters <ul><li>“ 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 </li></ul>
  7. 7. Business Clusters <ul><li>Martin/Sunley 2003 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Porter’s ideas appeal over others due to emphasis on competitiveness. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clusters concept ignores more complex work of economic geographers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clusters untested, more a way of thinking than an economic tool </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Concept will inevitably become unfashionable as it fails </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. 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
  9. 9. A Local/National timeline <ul><li>Government support cluster agenda </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Location Quotient methodology to identify clusters in regions in 2001 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>West Midlands: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1999 Rover collapse significant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RDA pushes ahead with clusters as one of three delivery mechanisms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cross-agency infrastructure developed </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Local matters <ul><li>“… .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” </li></ul><ul><li>DTI 2001 – First Assessment of Clusters </li></ul>
  11. 11. West Midlands – what they said <ul><li>1999 West Mids RES </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sector-based approach. CI mentioned. “There may be opportunities for developing clusters as the networks become established.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2001 DCMS Mapping </li></ul><ul><ul><li>West Mids: Software, Interactive Leisure, Film, Art & Antiques Market, Advertising, Performing Arts. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2001 DTI Clusters 1st Assessment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Software development, Arts and Antiques, Leisure Software </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. West Midlands – what they said <ul><li>2002 AWM Business Needs Analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>TV and Broadcasting, Film, Music, Interactive Software and Games. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2004 West Mids RES: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Recorded media manufacture, media production, distribution, content developers, specialist business services, content creators (education community/museums, etc). (11,000 employees)” </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. West Midlands – what gets measured <ul><li>“ 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.” </li></ul><ul><li>BOP Cluster Impact Study 2007 </li></ul>
  14. 14. Screen, Image and Sound cluster <ul><ul><li>CI themselves difficult to measure, SIS even more difficult </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SIS cluster has been poorly defined, no consistent measurement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2004 Cluster Mapping study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SIC codes are included that could have been excluded </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SIC codes are included in full that should have been subject to weightings </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Headline figures 2001-2005 <ul><li>Based on BOP methodology: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>700 jobs lost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>100 more businesses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Size of sector remained same in relation to UK and to West Midlands </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Headline Figures <ul><li>“ 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.” </li></ul><ul><li>BOP 2007 </li></ul>
  17. 17. Outputs <ul><li>£4.8 million of AWM RDA funds, leveraging in £2.8 million of EU funding plus millions of pounds of private match. </li></ul><ul><li>£14.7million of outputs generated by projects funded by the COG </li></ul><ul><li>This figure represents a 226% return on the COG and RDA’s investment according to the Agency’s Value for Money tool. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Outputs <ul><li>107 new jobs created </li></ul><ul><li>77 jobs safeguarded </li></ul><ul><li>40 people helped to get a job </li></ul><ul><li>54 new businesses created or attracted to the region </li></ul><ul><li>832 businesses assisted to improve their performance </li></ul><ul><li>193 people gaining high level skills </li></ul><ul><li>140 collaborations with the knowledge base </li></ul>
  19. 19. Developing Strategy <ul><li>Misalignment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Govt identification of West Midlands Clusters and regional implementation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regional identification of CI clusters and continued support of ‘audio-visual’ cluster. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mapping of CI nationally and mapping of CI locally. </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Implementing Strategy <ul><li>Cluster dominated by influence of industry group (COG) </li></ul><ul><li>Able to impose its own definitions of cluster </li></ul><ul><li>Focused on increasing share of public funds locally </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on lobbying and influence regionally and nationally </li></ul>
  21. 21. Summary <ul><li>West Midlands enacted cluster policy speedily due to specific local circumstances </li></ul><ul><li>Little evidence of a critical understanding of clusters </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of understanding of scope of SIS cluster - impact on employment and business creation negligible? </li></ul><ul><li>Input of industry figures key </li></ul>
  22. 22. Key points <ul><li>West Midlands has conceptualised its audio-visual industries as a business cluster </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Little regard for regeneration / creative spaces </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In West Midlands a shift to ‘Digital Media’ has allowed greater influence across sectors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>4ip / investment funding </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Further research <ul><li>Identifying success </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews with actors critical to cluster development </li></ul><ul><li>Closer analysis of data in order to better identify trends </li></ul><ul><li>Impact on other public funds during cluster development </li></ul>