Consultancy news /

02 Nov 11

Creative Colchester strategic framework launch on 11 November 2011

A new vision and an action plan are being drawn up to ensure Colchester capitalises on its abundance of creative talent and infrastructure. The vision and action plan - entitled Creative Colchester - is led by Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy. It has been supported by strategic partners including Colchester Borough Council, Arts Council England, Essex County Council, University of Essex and the Haven Gateway Partnership.

The oldest recorded town in Britain, Colchester has a proud heritage. Today, its cultural presence includes the widely-acclaimed Mercury Theatre, Colchester Arts Centre, Castle Museum and its Town Walls. And now it has firstsite, a leading venue for contemporary visual arts which is set to be recognised at an international level.

There is a wealth of other cultural activity within the borough, including creative education opportunities at the University of Essex and Colchester Institute. Colchester can boast the largest creative economy in Essex and the Haven Gateway with 1,300 creative businesses providing employment to over 5,600 employees. A priority growth area for the town, this accounts for 18.3% of all businesses in the borough, and includes advertising, design, web production, film, arts, crafts, performing arts and publishing

Colchester Borough Council is hosting a breakfast event on 11 November at firstsite to workshop ideas for the 5-year Action Plan with the creative sector. A grant of GBP25,000 from the Haven Gateway is available to help kick-start delivery of the Action Plan. Priorities and recommendations for how this should be spent will come forward from the event.
download executive summary
download full report
download launch programme

31 Oct 11

TFCC commissioned to create a framework to develop the Cultural and Creative Industries in Tunbridge Wells

The framework will develop the Creative Industries in the Tunbridge Wells area through mapping of current Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) activity, identifying the needs of businesses and developing a strategic framework to grow the wider creative sector in Tunbridge Wells.

Tunbridge Wells has the largest concentrations of computer gaming, software and electronic publishing companies, alongside visual and performing arts organisations within Kent.

The framework will identify specific opportunities for new workspace and other infrastructure, as well as opportunities for strategic partnerships. It will also outline an implementation plan for the framework, providing a structure for the CII sector to play an important role in delivering growth and sustaining overall prosperity in Kent.

28 Oct 11

Tom Fleming keynote speaker at Lincolnshire Digital Culture Symposium

Tom Fleming delivered a keynote speech to the "Frequency - Lincoln Digital Cultures Festival 2011". In a special symposium, Tom considered priorities for Lincolnshire's creative and digital future and explored opportunities to develop Lincolnshire as a world-class destination for the creative and cultural sectors.

Frequency is a platform for celebrating the pioneering spirit of digital innovation and culture through exhibition, creative collisions and debate. It showcases international and local work from artists that use digital tools and new media. The festival integrates art into Lincoln's landscape in the form of installations, projections, site-specific work and live performances.

26 Oct 11

"Creative Entrepreneurship for a Competitive Economy" Conference in Tallinn - Outcomes & Next Steps

The major international conference "Creative Entrepreneurship for a Competitive Economy" took place in Tallinn, Estonia last week. Spread over 3 days, the conference saw more than 30 speakers and 200 participants from all over the world gather to discuss ways in which creative entrepreneurship can improve innovation and competitiveness internationally. The conference was a major success with many discussions and ideas being presented on supporting growth in the creative industries, the creative economy, the role of cities and regions, creative and cultural education, intercultural cooperation and more. The conference sought to develop a new paradigm for the creative economy, with a particular focus on 'who benefits' from sector development. This is to ensure that future approaches are more inclusive, pragmatic and context-driven.

Videos, blogs, interviews, photos, presentations and other materials are all available on the conference website:

The conference was underpinned by the Tallinn Manifesto - a document written by the moderator (Tom Fleming) to spark debate and discussion and to re-frame strategic approaches to the creative economy internationally. The Tallinn Manifesto will be enriched by the outcomes of the conference and will be re-published soon.

A working version of the Tallinn Manifesto is available at:

19 Oct 11

First day of major international conference on Creative Entrepreneurship in Tallinn, Estonia

The Creative Entrepreneurship conference opened in Tallinn, Estonia this morning, welcoming a dynamic mix of speakers and participants from all over the world, to explore how to develop creative entrepreneurship to improve innovation and competitiveness. The next three days will focus on entrepreneurship across the arts, in organisations and institutions, and across clusters and networks of creative businesses.

Live streaming of the conference:
Twitter: #creativeestonia

Presentations and online commentary:
Tallinn Mannifesto:
Photos from the conference:

Tom Fleming has programmed and is moderating this major international conference which will call for a paradigm shift in the way the Creative Economy is understood and supported. The conference - Creative Entrepreneurship for a Competitive Economy - will give a critical perspective on the old 'boom time' policies, identify what works and what doesn't, and develop a practical new agenda for supporting creative entrepreneurship.