Creative Economy Programme

The Creative Economy Programme’s main focus will be on enhancing and extending the AHRC’s reach in the creative economy, emphasising the importance of arts and humanities research in generating impact across the sector, ranging from micro-businesses to large corporations.

It helps develop thinking around research in the creative economy, building innovative new partnerships and championing the importance of collaboration in this important sector of the UK economy.

The AHRC has identified the creative economy as an area of strategic importance and embraces the creative industries and the cultural sector ranging from art, design, and heritage, to gaming, music, and the film industry.

The Programme aims to raise the awareness of the breadth, scale and value of the UK’s world-class industries with a Creative Economy that is worth £84.1bn.

In January 2017, AHRC appointed Professor Andrew Chitty as its first Creative Economy Champion. He leads the Creative Economy Programme.

“The Creative Industries essentially create products, services, or experiences that are the product of creative practice,’ he explains,

‘whether that’s new content in terms of film, television, advertising, publishing, heritage, gaming or digital.

Then there’s the much wider Creative Economy where creative practices influence other sectors – for example, manufacturing, in terms of design; healthcare in terms of new digital services, or education in terms of massive online courses.’”

Its aim is to ensure the Creative Economy is seen on a par with other industry sectors, such as pharmaceuticals, green tech or engineering.

The idea of the Creative Industries is about 20 years old now, but it’s still thought of as ‘culture’ and not as proper as making things like jet engines or cars.

During the last spending period (2011-2015), the AHRC spent circa £100m on research related to creative economy interests.

Professor Andrew Chitty

Professor Andrew Chitty

AHRC Creative Economy Champion

Professor Andrew Chitty is the Challenge Director for both the Creative Industries Clusters Programme and the Audience of the Future Challenge. These two programmes represent over £110m support for the sector and the UK government’s single largest investment as part of the Industrial Strategy.

In January 2017, he was appointed the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s first ever Creative Economy Champion, working to foster new and exciting partnerships between academics and the rapidly growing creative industry, which is worth £84.1 billion to the UK economy.

Professor Andrew Chitty was appointed in January 2017 to foster new and exciting partnerships between academics and the rapidly growing creative industry, worth £84 billion to the UK economy.

With three decades of experience in the creative industries, Professor Chitty’s career began in television, where he focussed on the cultural impact of science and technology.

Previously, he founded his first company, a multiple BAFTA-winning digital agency that created transformational digital services for clients across the creative economy from the National Theatre to the devolved administrations, museums and galleries, to the NHS.

He is a former Vice Chair of the producers’ trade body PACT, a board member of Creative Skillset, and a founding director of Creative England.

Andrew has also worked across policy and regulation as a ministerial advisor and non-executive at OFCOM, and more recently worked with InnovateUK, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

He also worked with the National Council for Universities and Business to explore the area of Digital Health where creative, digital and clinical skills meet.

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