Industry leaders, academics and ambitious young people came together earlier this week for one of the county’s key events aimed at highlighting Oxfordshire’s world-leading creative industries sector.
The Oxfordshire Creative Industries Showcase returned following a three-year gap due to Covid-19 on Tuesday (21 June), bringing together representatives working within an industry that – prior to the pandemic – contributed £1.4billion to the UK economy from Oxfordshire alone.
Jointly-led by OxLEP and Oxford Brookes University, the second creative industries showcase was once again held at the university’s Headington campus following the 2019 edition and brought together innovators, local and national businesses, entrepreneurs, academia, industry leaders and influencers championing the sector.
The event particularly focused on why effective and engaging storytelling is key, as well as looking into Oxfordshire’s contribution to the post-pandemic regeneration of the UK’s creative sector.
Sessions included discussions on; ‘rethinking the economy – the future is creative’, ‘space, places and the visitor economy’ and the evolving role of gamification in the sector, including how technologies such as AI are being incorporated into storytelling.
Sessions were led by OxLEP, various representatives from Oxford Brookes University and The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) from the University of Oxford.
During the event, many industry leaders highlighted the need for further collaboration across the creative industries landscape, with the aim of not only creating continued platforms for the sector, but also help to demonstrate to young people the opportunities that potentially await them across the creative industries.
Pre-pandemic, almost 4,000 creative industries businesses called Oxfordshire ‘home’ and OxLEP hopes to continue to work with the sector supporting a message that the county is ‘the place’ to be, both nationally and indeed globally, for talented creatives.
Nigel Tipple – Chief Executive of OxLEP – said: “OxLEP has continuously seen creative industries as a key ingredient of the Oxfordshire economy and it’s a sector that can drive forward a positive economic response to the pandemic, both locally and nationally.
“Oxford and Oxfordshire is a hotbed for international talent, with the county laying claim to a rich array of high-profile businesses across the creative industries mix and cultural experiences like very few areas in the world.
“This sector, probably more than any other, also has the ability to reach people of all backgrounds – we want to ensure that we work with partners to support their ability to inspire all communities.
“We have a continued role to advocate this world-leading activity, as well as creating opportunities to convene the industry.”
For further information on the event and available business support, head to the Oxfordshire Creative Industries Showcase event page.