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Creative Fuse North East: Initial Report

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Eric Cross, Professor Nick HollimanORCiD, Professor Louise KemptonORCiD, Jason Legget, Professor Jonathan Sapsed, Dr Paul Vallance, Dr Fiona WhitehurstORCiD



This is the final published version of a report that has been published in its final definitive form by Newcastle University, UK, 2017.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Creative Fuse North East is exploring the 'fusion' of creativity, culture and technology in North East England. It is delivered by the five North East universities – Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside – working with a range of businesses, stakeholders and practitioners across the Creative, Digital and IT (CDIT) sector. Creative Fuse is led by Newcastle University and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the five North East universities, the European Regional Development Fund and Arts Council England's Local Growth Fund within its overall £4.5m budget. Under the auspices of the North East Culture Partnership and with support from the National Centre for Universities and Business, Creative Fuse will run for 30 months from May 2016 to October 2018. Creative Fuse, on the face of it, serves as a contrast to Brighton Fuse, its AHRC-funded predecessor: it investigates a region rather than one city – a region encompassing extensive rural areas as well as the cities of Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough and other smaller towns; the north rather than the south of England; a strong advanced manufacturing sector, but with economic and social challenges; and one distant from rather than close to London. The North East CDIT sector is quite different from Brighton and other cities such as Manchester in terms of size, its geography and economy, its people and the specifics of its opportunities and challenges. Creative Fuse's purpose is to identify how the CDIT sector in the North East can grow and contribute more impactfully to the regional economy. It is investigating how knowledge and skills 'spill-over' from the CDIT sector to other sectors can support growth. Creative Fuse will assess and develop new ways of collaborative working between universities and the CDIT sector, addressing the need for the right knowledge, skills and aptitudes for sustainable industries into the future. Creative Fuse seeks to be regionally significant and nationally relevant.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Butt M, Cross E, Holliman N, Kempton L, Legget J, Mackenzie E, Ross H, Sapsed J, Swords J, Vallance P, Whitehurst F

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title:

Year: 2017

Pages: 19

Print publication date: 22/06/2017

Online publication date: 22/06/2017

Acceptance date: 22/06/2017

Institution: Newcastle University, UK


Contents: 03: Foreword from Rt Hon Ed Vaizey MP 04: Executive Summary 06: About Creative Fuse North East 07: Research Approach 08: A Distinctive Sector: The Size and Composition of the CDIT sector in the North East 09: A Growing Sector: The Economic Performance of the CDIT sector in the North East 10: Creative-Digital Fusion 12: People and Place 14: Geographical Sources of Revenue 16: Barriers to Growth 18: Opportunities for Fusion and Growth