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Creative Cardiff wins innovation award

16 May 2019

Clwstwr office opening
Clwstwr office opening - Cllr Huw Thomas, Professor Justin Lewis, Ann Beynon OBE, Sara Pepper, Professor Damian Walford Davies

A Cardiff University-led network for the creative industries has won a prize for its innovative approach to building lasting partnerships.

Creative Cardiff, launched in 2015, boasts 2,450 members made up of creative companies, organisations and freelancers across Cardiff and the city region.  

Established by the University’s Creative Economy Unit, Creative Cardiff builds on founding collaborations with three leading organisations: BBC Cymru Wales, Cardiff Council and Wales Millennium Centre (WMC).

Creative Cardiff’s success has led it to:

  • curate events, from workshops to hustings, attended by more than 2,500 people;
  • develop a strong online presence with active jobs pages (1500 in three years) and an engaged social media following;
  • work on city-wide initiatives with other partners including S4C, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Golly Slater, Arts Council Wales, NESTA, and Innovate UK;
  • comprehensively map the city’s creative economy.

The network was the engine room for a successful bid for Industrial Strategy funding, through the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Creative Industries Clusters programme.

The bid – Clwstwr  – established over 50 partnerships with broadcasters, independent production companies, Welsh Government, Cardiff Council, and companies across the tech, creative and screen sectors, together with strategic organisations like Arts Council Wales and Ffilm Cymru.

Working in partnership with the University of South Wales, Cardiff Metropolitan University and Welsh Government, Clwstwr was one of nine UK projects chosen for the five-year funding stream.

Professor Justin Lewis, Creative Economy Unit, School of Journalism, Media and Culture, said, “We are delighted to have won the Innovation in Partnership prize at this year’s Cardiff University Innovation and Impact Awards. In three and a half years, Creative Cardiff has really developed into a force for creative good. It is our purpose to make Cardiff a capital of creativity and we have been striving to recognise that ambition by enabling collaborations, amplifying opportunities and encouraging innovation. Our recent award marks the largest AHRC grant the University has ever received, and places Creative Cardiff at the heart of creative industry innovation and R&D.”

Alison Copus, Communications and Marketing Director, Wales Millennium Centre, said: “We are delighted to share this accolade as a founding partner. Being part of Creative Cardiff fits our goal to inspire our nation and impress the world.”

Cllr Huw Thomas, Leader of Cardiff Council, said: “In Cardiff we are putting culture, creativity and innovation at the forefront of the city’s development, so we are delighted that our partnership with Creative Cardiff has been recognised for its impact and innovation.

“We look forward to continuing to work closely with Cardiff University and partners to support the sector, ensuring that talent and the Creative Industries continue to thrive in our city.’

Rhodri Talfan Davies, Director of BBC Cymru Wales, added: “This award recognises Creative Cardiff’s role in the sector’s future success. The network helps us to deepen our links, make new connections and expose us to new ideas and fresh thinking.”

The Awards, on 3 June, are organised by Cardiff University Innovation Network, which has promoted business-university interactions for more than 20 years.

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