Cornish creative impact in Europe

Kevin Brownridge

A businessman from Newlyn has just returned from addressing Europe’s most influential creative leaders at a conference in Barcelona.

Kevin Brownridge, director at business development company Perfect Moment, was asked to speak at the European Forum on Cultural Industries by the Spanish minister for culture Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde.

The invitation came off the back of a report written by Brownridge and his team into the impact of Objective One funding on the creative sector in Cornwall. Gonzalez-Sinde was hosting the conference as part of Spain’s presidency of the European Union.

“It’s incredible to think that our work, carried out in this far corner of Cornwall, is now impacting the rest of Europe,” said Brownridge.

“It was a fantastic experience speaking at the forum and sharing thoughts with other creative leaders about how important culture and the creative industries are to the economic development of an area.”

Brownridge’s report, Counting on Creativity, was commissioned in 2007 by Cornwall Arts Centre Trust (ACT) and has gained interest throughout Europe.

It cites the impact European funding, worth £43 million between 2000 and 2006, had on developing the creative and cultural sector in Cornwall.

Between 2000 and 2004, employment in this sector within Cornwall grew by 19%, with 560 jobs created. Turnover also grew from £326million to £421 million.

Brownridge added: “The European Forum identified a number of themes which were relevant for Cornwall.

“Firstly, the creative industries are a vitally important part of the knowledge economy across Europe and that Cornish creative businesses need support get their products out into the European marketplace.

“Secondly, these industries are a hotbed of innovation and that we need to continue to find ways to transfer this innovation out into other areas of the economy.

“Finally culture and creativity have a huge impact on all areas of the community and we need to fully recognise that our rich cultural life and our creative businesses are an incredibly important asset.

“It’s research like the Counting on Creativity report which proves to commissioning agencies that investing in culture can make a real difference to economic development.”

Perfect Moment is a business development consultancy specialising in the arts, third sector and public sector organisation.