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Northern Hub for the Creative Industries & PEC

15 March 2023

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Humanities and Social Sciences Professor Nigel Harkness, discusses the University hosting the Northern Hub for the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC).

At Newcastle we've always understood the power of culture and the creative arts. We are proud to be home to many world class artists, musicians and writers, and to count talented creative practitioners amongst our student and alumni population around the world. We have major regional and national arts organisations as our strategic partners, and generate significant impact from our research which benefits the creative industries.

This is why the announcement last week that the University will collaborate with the Royal Society of Arts to host the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) was so welcome.

Creative PEC is being funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to the tune of £11m over the next five years and will provide independent research and policy recommendations for the UK's creative industries. We were selected with the RSA for our expertise, inspiring vision and 'twin hub' structure - with a Northern Hub in Newcastle and a Southern Hub in London - which will bring huge benefits to the whole of the UK's creative sector.

With our expertise in research and policy, we are incredibly well placed to deliver this. As our colleague Professor Giorgio Fazio, who will be the PEC's Director of Research, said when the news was announced: "Our goal is to become the national and international reference point for research on policy for the creative industries."

And this goal is an important one – the creative industries have grown at double the rate of the overall UK economy between 2011 and 2019, with 400,000 additional jobs created since 2015.

To support the future success of the creative industries, Creative PEC will give impartial, independent, evidence-based advice which will inform policy. At Newcastle, our colleagues will be writing and commissioning State of the Nation reports about Internationalisation in the sector.

The centre will address industry and government priorities and advance research into challenges and opportunities and will produce its own research to become a platform for research produced by others. 

We take over Creative PEC from NESTA in June and its new base will be in our Business School. We are looking forward to working with our existing partners and creating new partnerships with our Insights North East and Creative FUSE teams to inform policy for the creative industries over the next five years and beyond.

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences