Taskforce launched to promote the creative and digital sector

Cheshire East Council’s Skills and Growth Company has created a new taskforce to boost the creative and digital sector across the borough.

Called the Weave network, the industry-led group will promote the sector, address skills gaps and help ensure creative and digital businesses can continue to flourish.

Cheshire East is home to a thriving creative cluster with 2,000 businesses in the sector employing around 7,500 people and with a combined turnover of over £250m per year. This includes specialisms such as programming, software development, game and app design, website building and advertising.

Although a majority of the sector’s businesses are small, with around 80 per cent employing less than 10 staff, the borough is also home to a number of truly world-leading businesses. These include: Warner Bros-owned TT Fusion, makers of Lego games, in Wilmslow; ThinkPositive’s newly-established European design centre, in Bollington; Barclays global technology centre, in Knutsford; and McCann, in Prestbury, the largest advertising agency outside London.

The creative and digital sector has grown 30 per cent faster than the average for the economy in recent years and is set to deliver further significant growth in the future as the use and sophistication of digital applications increases.

Weave chair Denise Proctor said: “Our creative businesses have a proven track record of award-winning innovation and regularly top the league tables of the most influential industry-leading expertise. Weave will celebrate our strengths, ensure we can both retain and attract skilled staff and be equipped to face the challenges of a rapidly-evolving sector.”

Councillor George Hayes, chairman of the Skills and Growth Company, said: “Cheshire East is home to some of the most diverse and dynamic businesses in the county. We are delighted to help to raise the profile of our creative and digital sector and celebrate their achievements, whilst securing future growth.”

New members from the creative and digital sector are welcome and Weave will be hosting a series of thought-provoking ‘Town Talks’ starting on 4th May focussing on the games design cluster in Cheshire East. For more details on the Weave network, and Town Talks visit: www.weave.org.uk.

Senior Media Relations Officer: Tim Oliver
Direct line: 01270 686591
Email: tim.oliver@nullcheshireeast.gov.uk

Notes to Editors:

Weave Digital and Creative Network
The Weave board is made up of a cross-section of leading digital and creative businesses across Cheshire East: Matmi, Wild Rumpus, BlueBeck, Sigma, TMC, Media Four, Barclays Creative, Big Decimal, Thrive Creative and other related organisations including Estates and Leisure, Macclesfield College and Manchester University. The Weave name was chosen to reflect the cultural history of the area linked to the textile and silk industry of Cheshire East and of how Weave is helping businesses work with one another to the mutual benefit of the sector. www.weave.org.uk

The Skills and Growth Company
Cheshire East Council launched a new ‘arms-length’ company in April 2016, to bring together skills and growth services under one structure. The Skills and Growth Company will ensure the council can deliver more for less, achieving greater innovation and benefits for businesses and residents. It will direct businesses towards funding and investment opportunities, increase the availability and take-up of apprenticeships, support people into work, help to create jobs and stimulate growth and innovation. For more information see: www.skillsandgrowth.co.uk

Skills and Growth