Image Gradient
BOP Consulting Logo | HomeButton
image gradient

Download Project Report

VIEW PDF

Back in 2012, some of us attended the launch of the AHRCs Creative Hubs in Millbank tower. The video of the event here includes a few shots of me, looking much younger.


The four ‘Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy’ were funded with £16m. The lead institutions; University of Lancaster, University of Dundee; Queen Mary, University of London, and University of the West of England.

In essence, the problem they aimed to solve was “The University sector and the creative economy sector run in parallel universes.” At the time, there was significant pressure on funding councils to show impact, and this was one way of maximising that.


At least three of the Hubs have now published evaluations (we couldn’t find one for Dundee). We worked on the evaluation for Creative Works.


The most interesting findings are around the clash between existing models of engagement and what is needed in the future. React is clearest on this:


“The current creative economy innovation space can sometimes feel like a Wild West: a chaotic and wasteful process, where start-ups come and go and where over-arching national priorities, for example to achieve leadership in digital sub-sectors such as financial services technology (fintech) or branches of artificial intelligence, do not connect with realities on the ground…“cities, city regions and other sites of economic regeneration will need to work with universities to establish new forms of organisation and governance to generate value in the creative economy”.


These new models of organisation are tied into the values and processes of the hub itself:


“A creative hub is an insurgent process, a culture change project that challenges the ‘business as usual’ thinking of all partners”


There are some indications that the outcomes of the projects reflect this. Part of the Creative Exchange project is looking at joining the European Network of Living Labs (ENOLL). The Creative Exchange in being “swift, agile and networked”. Creative Works contains “the seeds of a real structural change in the way in which resource may be best allocated to public interventions that seek to reduce barriers to entry and address market failures in creative industries”. React Hub is most explicit in arguing its role is “developing open systems for the creative economy”.


This is an important – but also challenging – finding. Historically, much of the strength of our education institutions has been in their consistency and their traditions. These findings suggest we may want to rethink some of these.


The three evaluations are online here: Creative Works; React Hub; and The Creative Exchange.

A new frontier

Does knowledge exchange need different institutions?

Oct 4, 2016

Green Cities helping climate change through culture and sustainability

Nov 4, 2021

How are major cities around the world responding to climate change through cultural policies and programmes?

The Green World Cities of Tomorrow: Culture and Sustainability

Paul Owens

Culture and the Climate Emergency

Apr 22, 2021

5 Priorities for World Cities in the post-covid recovery period

Culture and the Climate Emergency

Paul Owens

Culture and the Recovery: Levelling Up Culture?

Dec 4, 2020

Culture can play an important role in recovery and renewal across the UK, if the right local decision-making is put in place

Culture and the Recovery: Levelling Up Culture?

Callum Lee

Central London’s celebrated

Sep 23, 2020

This focused, coordinated set of measures can not only rescue the sector, but position it to lead the recovery

Central London’s celebrated cultural offer is in peril

Jonathan Todd

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #3

Aug 21, 2020

Three big questions as applications close for Arts Council England’s Cultural Recovery Fund

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #3

Paul Owens

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #2

Jul 30, 2020

The UK’s £1.57 billion recovery package: priorities for a New Deal

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #2

Paul Owens

COVID-19: Cities, Culture and the 3 ‘P’s: powers, partnerships, place

Jul 20, 2020

Cities are using their unique capabilities to lead recovery and renewal

COVID-19: Cities, Culture and the 3 ‘P’s: powers, partnerships, place

Paul Owens

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #1

Jul 7, 2020

Investing in recovery, planning for transformation

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #1

Paul Owens

COVID-19 is a triple blow to culture and the creative industries

Jun 30, 2020

Recovery and renewal will depend on how we address the three dimensions of the crisis

COVID-19 is a triple blow to culture and the creative industries

Paul Owens

Take planning and collaboration to whole a new level.

Jun 3, 2020

In the face of radical uncertainty leaders and policy-makers will have to take planning and collaboration to whole a new level

‘Plans are useless, planning is essential’

Paul Owens

Relief, Recovery and Renewal

May 13, 2020

Nobody knows what will happen next, but we have a good idea of the three necessary steps out of the crisis

Relief, Recovery and Renewal: navigating our way to a new kind of future

Paul Owens

The Golden Thread in the 2020s

Dec 20, 2019

A cause for optimism

Weaving the Golden Thread into the 2020s

Paul Owens

Related Articles

By BOP Consulting

Callum Lee

Managing Director

Callum leads the BOP team, its portfolio and strategic partnerships. His cultural and creative industries expertise is founded on leading analytical research and policy formulation in the UK and internationally.

Callum Lee - Managing Director  | BOP Consulting

Planning a new project?

If you are interested to learn more about our work or if you have a project you would like to discuss, get in touch.

SHARE ARTICLE
Callum Lee

Callum Lee

Managing Director