Encouraging our creative industries

 

I visited Falmouth University with colleagues from Staffordshire University on Tuesday to see how they support entrepreneurs and businesses in Cornwall.  Their Launchpad scheme is a very clever combination of teaching and practical business development, which involves small groups of students developing a business scheme to the point of seeking external investment as part of a master’s degree programme.  About 3 or 4 of the business ideas per year are attracting investment and launching in Cornwall, which is very impressive from a relatively small scale undertaking.  Many of these businesses are digital in nature, and therefore very welcome in an isolated county where seasonal employment in tourism, fishing and agriculture predominate.

Our colleagues from Cornwall County Council were present, and it was an excellent opportunity to compare what we are doing with an informed group of people.  The lessons for us in Staffordshire are that we probably could do more in terms of encouraging the creative industries.  With Staffordshire University occupying the place as the country’s leading computing and computer gaming university, the creative industries are no longer limited to traditional skills such as painting and pottery, or even performing arts – digital has transformed this sector as well, and we are well-placed to capitalise on these developments.

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