Cardiff University’s Centre for the Creative Economy is working in partnership with Newport, Monmouthshire and Rhondda Cynon Taf local authorities on a new Creative Industries Cluster Hubs project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).  

It is hoped the three pilot hubs will drive investment and extend the benefits of Cardiff’s thriving creative industries across the Cardiff Capital Region (CCR). While specific plans are being finalised, these could include opening physical spaces where creatives can collaborate, initiatives to develop local skills, networking opportunities and investment in new research and innovation.

This latest project builds on the legacy of Cardiff University’s Clwstwr project. Clwstwr was a research and development programme to embed innovation in the media sector in South Wales. From 2018-23, Clwstwr funded 118 R&D projects with industry creating new products, services and experiences for the screen and news sectors.

Jess Mahoney, Head of Creative Cardiff, said: “Since 2015, Creative Cardiff has worked to tell the story of Cardiff’s creative sector, bringing together artists and innovators for collaboration and connection, and helping define the cultural identity of the city. Creative Industries Cluster Hubs will build on this work, helping to extend the reach and impact of the city’s thriving creative cluster. This will connect new talent with future opportunities and shine a light on the  creative practitioners and enterprises active in communities all across the Cardiff Capital Region.”

Monmouthshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Inclusive and Active Communities, Councillor Sara Burch said: “Monmouthshire has a rich and talented creative community and Monmouthshire County Council is keen to develop the existing networks and opportunities for the creative economy. It is important to ensure there is space for meaningful conversations with the sector, so we can develop a clear vision and collective purpose for the future. 

“The cluster pilot project is a welcome opportunity for us to create the conditions for the creative economy in South Wales to grow.”

The project will be delivered between now and December, with project evaluation undertaken by February 2024.