SYS-CON UK Authors: Salvatore Genovese, Jeremy Geelan, Jamie Matusow

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The Boom of Creative Industry in Europe

LONDON, January 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

- Ideal European locations for investing in creative and digital sectors

As the concept of the "knowledge economy" grows, so too does the creative enterprises industry. While creative enterprises may touch upon other industries, including R&D and science as well as technology and ICT, many business locations in Europe are specifically focussed on building up their reputations and infrastructure for supporting creative industries, such as film and related areas, such as film production, location scouting, digital effects, animation and video game creation.

The future of the knowledge economy will be driven in large part by creativity - and several European locations are ahead of the curve in setting themselves up as hotbeds of creative growth on a commercial scale. While almost all cities have burgeoning creative sectors and welcome creative industries, certain cities and regions are making a more aggressive push to attract creative companies and concepts to set up shop. These places offer incentives for investment as well as an infrastructure that supports creative work, ranging from specialised education and training programmes to specific commercial property designed for creative pursuits, such as digital studios and production facilities.

Locations for Creative Enterprise in Europe

Among the stand-out locations for creative industries in Europe are:

South Tyrol, Italy

Italy has a storied cinematic history, with the famed Cinecitta filmmaking town in Rome. But Italy's filmmaking credentials spread far afield of Rome. The South Tyrol region of Italy, economically autonomous from the rest of Italy, enjoys a relatively strong economy despite the global economic downturn and particular challenges Italy's economy has faced. The South Tyrol region is especially renowned for and invested in its film-funding programme, which includes training and financial incentives for filmmaking, film production and even its own recently launched TV lab.


Iceland offers an enviable and unique landscape that has long attracted film production and other creative industries (Iceland is home to, for example, CCP Games, which makes EVE Online, one of the internet's most successful massively multiplayer online games (MMOG)). Iceland has set the scene for many blockbuster films, such as Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers and Die Another Day from the James Bond film series. Iceland is likewise home to the children's TV show, LazyTown, which has now gone global, thanks to the country's leadership in digital production and a deep pool of entertainment-industry expertise. In addition to the skilled professionals and industrious, innovative minds that make up Iceland's creative industries sector, the country offers tax and other incentives for locating film production in Iceland; specialised facilities exist for bringing creative projects to fruition, such as the Asbru Enterprise Park, which is home to Atlantic Studios.

England: Watford, Bradford and Stockport

Watford, England is home to the renowned Warner Bros. (Leavesden) Studios, the creative powers behind the Harry Potter film franchise. Among auxiliary and other related companies, there are more than 300 creative-industry companies in the creative cluster in the Watford region. Watford offers room to grow as well as proximity to London.

Bradford, England has built up a creative and digital industries cluster that is made up of a bit of everything creative - software development, web design, game design and creation, animation and filmmaking. Bradford's creative and digital industries sector is one of the fastest growing in all of Europe and offers the infrastructure to support investment in the creative fields.

Stockport, England in the Manchester area has a growing creative sector, supported by the relocation of major BBC operations to the area. Stockport has invested heavily in offering support for creative and digital industries, including specialised education and training at the region's five universities and advice from Manchester Digital, Design Initiative and Stockport Economic Alliance.

Munich, Germany

Munich is a multifaceted, multimedia hub for all manner of creative industries - from ICT, media, TV, production, publishing, advertising and booming design and fashion expertise that ranges from electronics to couture, from SMEs to powerhouses like BMW.

Wales, UK

Most of Europe is putting out the welcome mat for flourishing creative industry businesses. Some locations are going the extra mile to attract innovation. Wales is at the forefront of building up its creative and digital industries by investing in infrastructure, commercial real estate designed especially for creative pursuits and offering institutional support for companies setting up a creative or digital enterprise in Wales.

Recognising Creative Progress

"Every city and region sees the potential of the growing creative industry opportunity," stated Erika Wolfe, chief editor at Locations4business, an online FDI business location information resource. "We are in an era during which knowledge is prized and, with just an innovative idea and the know-how, creative enterprises are able to thrive. As the economies in Europe climb out of varying degrees of recession, we are seeing many of these locations employing tremendous creativity themselves in attracting both SMEs and larger-scale creative industries to their countries and cities.

As big ideas converge with specialised creative education, in fields as varied as film production and digital arts, many cities are turning some of their own perceived weaknesses into strengths for potential investors. For example, Iceland has always been attractive as a film location and has long offered tax breaks to attract film production - but in the wake of its own economic crash in 2008 - recovery has been rapid - Iceland has been particularly active in pushing the film industry and has highlighted its successes.

Likewise, a location like South Tyrol, Italy, is not necessarily high atop the list of locations a company would consider for film locations - and, unlike the rest of Italy, the region is not suffering as much economically. Its organisation and infrastructure, coupled with a specific regional film fund incentivising film and television production in South Tyrol, make it an ideal location to consider."

The Creative Future

Many places already offer considerable incentives for investing in the creative industries - working and growing from intellectual capital is sustainable business. To capitalise on the endless growth potential, most countries and cities are jumping on the creative enterprises bandwagon. Some locations, though, engage on a more comprehensive level, including, for example, Wales. Wales is already at the forefront of UK television production but is going all-in with a major capital investment in a new creative industries sector in Cardiff. Construction commenced at the end of 2012, and signals Wales's commitment to future-oriented, creative economic growth. Business locations throughout Europe are poised to follow suit.

Locations4business is an online business-to-business resource that offers independent, third-party site selection and location information to help companies research and make decisions on locating their business operations.

Visit Locations4business to learn more about investment in the creative industries and key locations for creative businesses, such as South Tyrol, Italy; Iceland; England; Munich, Germany and Wales.

Emma Tessier, PR manager

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