Staying local(ish)


The North West has always boasted a staggering level of creative output. Whether you’re talking about the region’s much-loved and lauded bands, designers like Peter Saville, or the wealth of high-profile creative agencies that have a registered address in the area.
On Mount Street we’re proud of where we do business, and that goes further than hitting repeat on The Stone Roses while we ponder our latest innovative solution to a company’s digital PR, social media, or comprehensive public relations quandary.  In fact, we’d go so far as to say we take great pleasure in learning about any work being undertaken by our peers, and not least when there’s a direct link to projects in the Smoking Gun portfolio.
Sportswear manufacturer Burrda is a familiar face round these parts, we’ve been working with them for some time now and the partnership has been happy. So let’s hope Wolverhampton Wanderers, the Premiership club that wears a kit made by our own athletic clothes brand, find the same when reaping the fruits of a new deal with Salford design house Raw. Given the fact said agency has delivered on cutting edge aesthetic contracts for the likes of Liverpool FC and the F.A. we’re pretty sure they will.
This got us thinking about the sector, and region, as a whole. According to Creative Choices there are over 4,500 creative businesses based in the North West. On top of that there are a further 5,650 freelancers working in anything from advertising to cultural heritage and the arts. But when you live in a globalised world local doesn’t necessarily mean the same county, which is good because the national statistics prove even more staggering. Circa 1997 the industry in Britain had a GVA of £31.2bn, which, by 2006, had leapt to an even more impressive £57bn.
OK, so that’s pre-recession. However, look at the figures for 2008, a year wherein creativity accounted for 4.1 per cent of all exported goods and services. Also consider that NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) predicted the sector would grow by 4% between 2009 and 2013, more than double the rate of any other industry. That means in two years we could be looking, awestruck no doubt, at an area that adds some £85bn to the UK economy, and employs more people than the financial services. Whichever way you look at it then, if you’re searching for PR, marketing, digital production, design, or any other eye-catching solutions then this is the right country. And with one of the highest concentrations of creative business in Europe, the North West is a key talent pool to dip into.