Archive for February, 2013

Dynamic Mapping of the Creative Industries

Interesting new NESTA research paper “A Dynamic Mapping of the Creative Industries” (Jan 2013) which scrutinises the DCMS’s methods for estimating creative industries employment levels in the UK.


Futura is a new one-day science-fiction convention (literature oriented, not TV-and-Trek), which will be running at the Light House in Wolverhampton on Saturday 15th June 2013… “A £25 ticket will get you access to a range of activities from 11am-late, including reading, panels, Q+A sessions, our fabulous book market and much more. Guest of Honour […]

Film industry employment in the West Midlands

Oxford Economics report, The Economic Impact of the UK Film Industry, from Sept 2012. Interesting to read there (on page 30) that the West Midlands share of national “core” film industry employment was the largest in the UK, at 7.2% in 2011. Sounds nice, but sadly there was a footnote giving the explanation of the […]

Bham Uni takes drugs myth and cures it

Birmingham University busts a popular doomist myth… “The idea that the supply of breakthrough [medical] drugs in the UK is drying up is a myth, researchers from Birmingham University reported in BMJ Open. In fact … the opposite seems to be the case”

GameDev Midlands 1

GameDev Midlands 1: Insert Coin to Begin. Birmingham, 9th March 2013. Free. The first informal networking get-together for creatives and developers in the Midlands videogames industry.

Creative Writing A-levels

Creative Writing to be offered at AS and A-level in the UK.


Emote. Er, no. Just no… “A €2.9m Emote project at the University of Birmingham is seeking to develop robotic classroom tutors, with human empathic capabilities.”

Value of the UK Fashion Industry

New UK creative industries report, from the British Council: “The Value of the UK Fashion Industry”.

Blog Summit Birmingham

Blog Summit Birmingham now has tickets available. It’s organised by Tots 100, and last year’s event was very much a “mommy bloggers” day.

Labour’s new Five Point Plan for the arts and creative industries

Labour actually have some policies, shock! Yesterday they unveiled a “five-point plan” for the Arts and Creative Industries. Not to be confused with a creaky old socialist Five Year Plan, comrade. * Anti-piracy. Which had so little success when Labour were in power, despite being driven forward by a whip-wielding Peter Mandelson. Ah, but this […]

Gone south

Billionaire Frank Cohen has closed his big gallery near Wolverhampton, having seemingly had zero encouragement from the Midlands art world over the years, and has now set it up in London as a rival to Charles Saatchi’s gallery.

39 minutes of Cloud Atlas cut by Chinese censors

Looks like the Chinese government feels really threatened by Cloud Atlas. The movie has been officially censored in China, with a massive 39 minutes removed — that’s about a quarter of the film. It must be a mess, but perhaps the sheer amount of cuts will drive the more intelligent Chinese viewers to the full-length […]

Smart City

Birmingham’s new Smart City Vision Document is out. A fat wad of boilerplate surrounds a small core of actual ideas. It basically starts on page 22 and ends on page 24, and even then the ideas are smothered in dense officialese. The Birmingham Post thought it was all just vacuous blather. I’m not so sure. […]

“TV or not TV, that is the question…”

A delegation of Birmingham MPs has meet with the BBC to lodge a protest over the last decade’s systematic and relentless removal of BBC radio and TV programme-making capacity from Birmingham. The last I heard (Nov 2011) all the city currently has left is Doctors, The Archers, and an Asian Network which had half its […]


New £5m UK research centre for CREATe, based in Glasgow… “CREATe is the RCUK research centre for copyright and new business models in the creative economy”.

Young Brum bloggers needed

The new Library of Birmingham is calling for 20 x sparky young (16-24) bloggers… “who are creative and passionate about the creative future of Birmingham”. During the Discovery Festival in September 2013 they’ll do things like: write content for a new website for young people; and make the Festival’s print “magazine-style brochure” with a print-run […]

Cycle hubs at Birmingham train stations

£200,000 of new funding, to “provide an interconnected cycle hire schemes covering the Birmingham area”, based on hubs at four rail stations including Birmingham New Street, Birmingham Snow Hill, Longbridge and out in the Black Country at Rowley Regis.