Led by Cardiff University's Creative Economy team, this project seeks to add value to existing partnerships, and to create new ones, by networking creative hubs – co-working spaces for small companies and freelancers – from across the Cardiff Capital Region.
The project will connect creatives, entrepreneurs and digital innovators to share best practice, and provide peer support. Following an opening workshop at Cardiff University, the hubs will take part in a ‘round robin’ exchange, with a representative from one hub visiting the next hub in the chain to create a series of opportunities to share experiences and raise questions.
A final knowledge sharing event at Welsh ICE
(Innovation Centre for Enterprise) in Caerphilly will conclude the formal part of the process, with the aim being that the hubs will continue to support networking between themselves.
The Creative Cardiff team will be blogging
about the project as it progresses, and have a wealth of information on hubs available on their website
More people are working in creative hubs than ever before. For freelancers and small businesses, hubs offer a place to work, opportunities, connections and a sense of community. June 2017 saw the launch of our City Region Exchange project, Networking Creative Hubs in the Cardiff Capital Region.
During the workshop they discussed key issues such as place-making, sustainability, growth, freelancing, well-being, work opportunities and collaboration.
The hub representatives at the workshop will now take part in a round robin of exchange placements at hubs across the city region.
Creative Economy and Hubs Resources
This section brings together a range of open-access research reports and resources. These primarily cover creative hubs and co-working spaces, but also the wider creative economy, especially in Cardiff and South Wales. Some of them are more up-to-date and relevant than others, and we’d welcome feedback about what else we might include.‘
Hubs are not only defined by the physical space which they occupy, but by the services they provide and their contribution to the wider creative community and environment in which they operate. These defining features are often down to the values, experiences and expertise of the person or people behind the space.’ – Creative Cardiff #47: Creative hubs and co-working spaces (2016)
‘By “hubs” is meant a very specific location, usually a building or group of buildings, that provides affordable workspace, support and exhibition or sales space for creative entrepreneurs and acts as the central point of a wider network – hence the analogy of a hub as the centre of a wheel.’ – British Council: Hubs, Clusters and Regions (2014)
‘Creative hubs succeed when they are driven by values rather than output. These values will vary, but may include: enhanced know-how and skills; generosity and mentoring; inspiration and leadership. Productivity in a creative hub (and so raising the value of hub members’ individual outputs) arises from the relationships between the people working within the hub’s network.’ – REACT Report (2016)
‘Hubs tend to attract people from a range of backgrounds with a focus on developing digital technology, enterprise and social innovation. They facilitate collaboration in physical and digital space.’ – Creative Hubkit: Made by hubs for emerging hubs (2015)
‘Hubs have become nests for freelancers and micro SME’s to gather, connect and collaborate. They are lighthouses for forgotten areas of the city, gathering people in unused spaces and connecting previously invisible communities. Hubs not only form communities, they also develop a structured serendipity that enables people to connect in ways they hadn’t before, inspiring new cross disciplinary collaborations, community engagements and modes of working.’ – Creative Hubs: Understanding the New Economy (2016)
‘Creative clusters and networks are particularly important for a sector largely made up of agile freelancers and small and micro businesses. The clustering of people and businesses allows for the sharing of new ideas, people and skills through proximity or co-location. This, in turn, leads to increased business activity as well as the development of new businesses.’ – Creative Exchanges: The AHRC Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy Report (2017)
‘Networks are the glue that bind this innovation system together – ensuring that information about new opportunities, available resources and good practice are rapidly disseminated, helping different agents – entrepreneurs, businesses, investors, policymakers, regulators and educators – to coordinate their activities, and giving voice to smaller players and fragmented industries which, by their nature, are further away from the centres of power and decision–making.’ – A Manifesto for the Creative Economy (2013)
‘Post-industrial knowledge economies are increasingly reliant and will over time further rely even more on the creative work undertaken in their economies to achieve competitive advantage against providers of goods and services with other advantages, such as lower labour costs. This landscape also includes the cultural sector, where demand is increasing, driven partly by extensions to leisure time and life expectancy.’ – The Creative Economy in Europe:Why Human Beings Remain the Economy’s Key Asset (2017)
‘Evidence from various sources thereby confirms intuitive impressions of Cardiff as a creative city with a significant cultural sector that is not only part of the fabric of urban life, but a cornerstone of its economy.’ – Mapping Cardiff’s Creative Economy Report (2016)
Close collaboration between the publicly funded arts and creative business development is essential. The existing strength of the FE and HE creative sectors is an asset for the Valleys, but one which needs further refinement and co-ordination to connect it to strategic employment and business opportunities. Improvement is needed in the dialogue between creative businesses, FE and HE and government.’ – Creative Industries in the South Wales Valleys (2011)