‘One Creative North’ plans finalised - RSA

‘One Creative North’ plans finalised at summit ahead of Convention of the North

Press release

  • Arts and culture
  • Community and place-based action
  • Social innovation
  • The RSA, together with leaders from across government, civil society and the creative industries, finalise bold new ideas for the North of England’s creative industries, to be revealed in full at the Convention of the North on 29 February.
  • Plans will unlock the creative potential of the region and add an additional £10bn to GVA (Gross Value Added) in economic output for the North of England.

Today (22 February) representatives and leaders from 30 organisations will meet to set out plans for ‘One Creative North’, a bold, new vision for the north of England’s creative industries.

Work has been underway since November, when a grand partnership was formed to forge a ‘creative corridor’ in the North of England, unlocking the immense potential of the region and drawing on the well of creativity that underpins it.

Today’s summit will see partners, including Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, Director General of the BBC, Tim Davie, and CEO of the RSA, Andy Haldane, come together to support plans to put the interconnectivity of industry, civil society and policymakers at the heart of a bold new future for the north’s creative industries.

Full plans for ‘One Creative North’ will be unveiled as part of the Convention of the North on 29 February and 2 March, which is set to attract 800 of the North’s top business, political, and community leaders at the Royal Armouries, Leeds.

Andy Haldane, Chief Executive of the RSA, said:

“There are pockets of creative genius right across the North of England. But the potential to nurture and grow these pockets into a Northern creative supercluster, by working in pan-regional partnership, is simply enormous. Unlocking that huge potential, through practical action, is the focus of this summit, and we look forward to seeing that come to fruition in the months and years ahead as part of our ‘One Creative North’ package.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said:

“Creative talent is everywhere across the North, but too often it feels as if talent has to be in London to get in and get on.

“Our ambitious plan will draw together talent from right across the North - from South Yorkshire, over to Liverpool and up to Newcastle. Working with brilliant partners like the BBC, Channel 4, Arts Council England and the Royal Society of the Arts, we will create a cultural powerhouse.

"Our shared ambition to boost skills, investment and innovation will lead to more well-paid jobs and grow the economy across the North. Working together we will turbocharge our world-class cultural offer, putting creative opportunities at the heart of our plans for the future of the North.”

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said: “One Creative North presents a once in a generation opportunity to transform the cultural and creative economy in the North of England. Arts Council England is committed to playing its part in delivering the goals of the charter so that artists, musicians, creative businesses, freelancers and cultural organisations are all able to realise their full potential here in the North. We look forward to continuing to work pan-regionally with the other charter signatories to make a Northern creative super-cluster a reality.”

Hasan Bakhshi, Director Creative PEC, said:

“In our regional workshops we have heard about a number of ways in which creative hotspots across the North of England can join up so that their creative whole is greater than the sum of their parts. Such as pan-regional opportunities to showcase creative talent, an investment fund for high-growth SMEs and a coordinated approach to workforce retention skills development. These actions and more will help transform the North of England’s creative clusters into a Northern Creative Corridor”.

Working with Creative PEC, who are hosted by Newcastle University and Arts Council England, the RSA is bringing together leaders across regions in the UK to grow the impact of the creative industries, and creativity in industry.

All 30 partners attending the summit at Newcastle University tomorrow, are signatories of a charter, including the mayors in Liverpool, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and the North of Tyne, and sector leaders including Creative UK, North-East Screen, the N8 Research Partnership universities, and Ubisoft, plus the BBC, ITV and Channel 4.

A full list of the signatories is below:

  • Andy Haldane, Chief Executive of the RSA
  • Syima Aslam MBE, Director and Founder, Bradford Literature Festival
  • Professor Hasan Bakhshi MBE, Director, Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre
  • Sir Peter Bazalgette, Co-chair, Creative Industries Council / Chair Royal College of Art
  • Mayor Tracy Brabin, Mayor, West York shire Combined Authority
  • Dr Annette Bramley, Director, N8 Research Partnership
  • Mayor Andy Burnham, Mayor, Greater Manchester Combined Authority
  • Dinah Caine CBE, Chair of Council, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Nicky Chance-Thompson MBE, CEO, Piece Hall
  • Mayor Oliver Coppard, Mayor, South Yorkshire Combined Authority
  • Tim Davie CBE, Director-General, BBC
  • Cat Drew, Chief Design Officer, Design Council
  • Mayor Jamie Driscoll, Mayor, North of Tyne Combined Authority
  • Alison Gwynn, Chief Executive, North East Screen
  • Darren Henley CBE, CEO, Arts Council England
  • Charlie Kemp, Head of Creative Place, Tees Valley Combined Authority
  • Dr Henry Kippin, Interim CEO, North East Mayoral Combined Authority
  • Sir Richard Lambert, Chair, Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Alex Mahon, CEO, Channel 4
  • Carolyn McCall DBE, Chief Executive, ITV
  • Lord Neil Mendoza, Chairman, Historic England
  • Johnny Moore, CEO, Fulwell 73 UK
  • Dave Moutrey OBE, CEO, HOME
  • Caroline Norbury OBE, CEO, Creative UK
  • Dr Peter O'Brien, Executive Director, Yorkshire Universities
  • Lisa Opie, Managing Director, Ubisoft Reflections and Ubisoft Leamington
  • Professor Jane Robinson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement and Place, Newcastle University
  • Mayor Steve Rotheram, Mayor, Liverpool City Region
  • Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England
  • Professor Katy Shaw, Director of Cultural Partnerships, Northumbria University Newcastle



  1. For further information or interview requests, contact Head of News and Public Affairs: Ben.Oliver@rsa.org.uk

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