Coventry beat off strong opponents to claim the prestigious title of UK’s City of Culture 2021, which is a fantastic result for the city and will surely reap huge rewards. But what does this mean for the digital sector, and in particular for digital agencies in Coventry?
According to a new report titled – Digital Creative Sectors in Coventry: Trends and Potential, Coventry is in the right place to expand the digital creative sector following the win. The report, written by Stephen Roper (Warwick Business School), Areti Gkypali (Warwick Business School), Jane Sanderson (Coventry University) and Lorraine Morley (Morley Associates Ltd), provides an in-depth look at the current state and the future potential of the digital sector in and around the city.
Some key findings within the report appear to put Coventry in good stead for future digital growth.
According to Professor Stephen Roper of Warwick Business School (the reports lead Author); “Coventry offers a rich, vibrant and diverse cultural experience and a rapidly developing digital infrastructure, both of which are essential to strengthening creative clusters in the City that could significantly impact on the local and regional economy”.
The report states that, although 60% of Coventry businesses believe that Coventry is a ‘Creative and innovative’ city, it is not yet a hot-spot for the digital creative sector. However, the Authors also state that “the growth of the supply chain of digital engineering to support major advanced manufacturing organisations like Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and London EV Company provides an opportunity to develop synergies with new digital creative, design and other Creative Industries.”
So, whilst Coventry lags behind Birmingham and Manchester in terms of business perception as a digital hub, the economic growth City of Culture development provides an opportunity for this to change.
The authors also claim there is evidence that “External perceptions of the City are changing. Coventry is becoming a significant city with a transformed cultural offer. Two award winning universities and a new Cultural Place Partnership supported by the City Council and local businesses have ambitious plans to drive local and regional economic growth through harnessing our industrial strengths, heritage, human and diverse cultural resources.”
So there is much to be hopeful about. Coventry has already been moving in the right direction digitally and culturally over the last decade, helped in no small amount by the success of the 2 award winning universities in the city. Warwick University standing alongside Oxford and Cambridge in terms of stature, and Coventry University with strong recognition in engineering and, in particular, vehicle design.
So, the future definitely looks bright for businesses in and around Coventry. Increased investment in the area will benefit businesses of all types, and increased access to funding in the digital sector will allow for digital and creative firms to focus on growth and employ more staff. If we look at Hull, which has received more than £3 Billion in investment since it was awarded City of Culture in 2013, there is huge potential for economic growth within Coventry over the next few years. For digital agencies and web design companies in Coventry and the surrounding area, there is huge scope to benefit from this investment I the city both directly and indirectly.
So, over the next few years it could be a very good time to be a web design agency in Coventry, or for that matter any business in Coventry and the surrounding area.