A leading business figure is to chair a partnership championing the Solent’s fastest growing industry sector.
Hampshire Chamber chief executive Maureen Frost has been appointed by Creative Network South, a body that promotes investment in activities such as digital arts, design, publishing, marketing, media and gaming.
Among its partners are businesses, local authorities, universities, training providers and support agencies, all working to link creative entrepreneurs and firms with essential funding and advice.
Maureen’s appointment comes as the network publishes a declaration reflecting the government’s new industrial strategy which recognises the creative industries as key to UK economic success.
Maureen said: ‘The aim of the network is to attract and retain creative talent in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. It’s all about supporting the development of creative businesses, opening pathways to employment and generating wider economic growth.’
The government’s industrial strategy white paper, published in November 2017, reported that the creative industries generate £87bn for the UK economy each year. In the Solent, the figure is £1.5bn.
In 2016, the global innovation foundation Nesta identified Southampton and Portsmouth as being among the 15 most significant cities for creative industry employment. Between 2010 and 2016, the number of people working across the Solent in the creative sector grew by 30 per cent to around 40,000. At the same time, the number of creative businesses also grew by around a third to more than 5,500.