The recent announcement that the Thames Estuary is to be transformed into a global centre of excellence for the creative industries highlights the burgeoning creative sector in Essex.
The plans, unveiled by Mayor of London, have been created in conjunction with the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), and span seven London boroughs as well as the counties of Essex and Kent.
“London leads the way across the whole of the creative economy – from fashion to film, design to gaming, performing arts to the visual arts. It’s only right that we build on this success and transform the Thames Estuary into a world-class centre for creative production – leading global innovation, developing the talent of the future and cultivating world-changing ideas.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London
Investing in a creative Essex hub
The vision document, which has been submitted to the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission, identifies the potential for several large-scale national hubs to be built from Canary Wharf to Southend in Essex and Thanet in Kent. The main two locations for the creative sector in Essex are focused on Colchester and Thurrock…
Proposed developments include the University of Essex, in Colchester, becoming a centre for digital creativity and gaming in the UK. Since opening in 2014 the Games Hub at the University’s Knowledge Gateway has fostered the skills and creativity of more than 50 individuals and five small businesses have been formed and spun-out of the hub.
Purfleet in Thurrock is also planned to become a major media and film studio complex. The complex will be in close proximity to the High House Production Park already located in Purfleet. The Quartermaster Studios, a 600,000sq ft media village featuring several film stages and production suites, are at the project's centrepiece to accommodate the strong demand for film and TV production in the UK. It would be the largest facility of its kind in Europe and the first purpose-built studio complex of this type in the UK in 50 years.
“The creative industries are one of the South East's biggest success stories. As the UK competes on the world stage, we must harness the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of the creative sector - enabling its growth and extending its global reach”.
Christian Brodie, Chairman, South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP)
A growing creative sector
The Commission’s proposals will support the creative and cultural industries worth £35 billion per year to London’s economy alone.
The plans for the area are the subject of a government development project to create tens of thousands of new jobs and homes by 2050 and would be one of the biggest redevelopment projects in London since the docklands were transformed into a financial hub in 1980.
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