NEWBURY has been ranked as the UK’s 16th most creative location in a study.
The Creative Regions study, carried out by commercial real estates service provider CBRE, saw the market town placed above the likes of Liverpool, Cardiff and Portsmouth.
The study is an attempt to highlight the future potential for regional UK areas for the creative industries – which were identified as publishing, film, TV, media, digital, computer programming and information services.
The major creative employers in the Newbury area were identified as Vodafone and BCMS.
Each region was ranked according to 15 different criteria including creative employment (change, growth and concentration), education levels of staff, millennial workers, research excellence, house prices and house price growth, salaries and office stock and rental quotes.
In the last five years in Newbury, there has been a 61.8 per cent increase in information and communications employment and a 19.8 per cent jump in the number of information and communications SMEs (small-medium enterprises).
The millennial population – those born after 1980 and the first generation to come of age in the new millennium – has increased by 5.8 per cent in Newbury in the last five years and now represents 15 per cent of the current population.
Newbury also has 51 per cent of employees holding a degree, despite the fact there are no universities in the area.
The report notes that many creative businesses choose their office locations for a number of reasons.
These include local talent supply, affordability, connectivity, cultural offerings and quality of life.
The report adds that many skilled workers in the creative arts field are choosing regional towns like Newbury and Reading due to the lower cost of living and more affordable housing than other creative hubs such as London.
The report states: “The creative industries have also made a major contribution to the UK’s position as the largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Europe.
“Of the 2,213 inward investment projects recorded by UKTI as being won by the UK in 2015/16, a total of 558 (almost 25 percent) were classed as creative industries and ICT.”
Eleven of the top 25 creative locations are in the South East and East of the UK, despite these areas being more expensive in terms of house prices.
They do, however, have high concentrations of creative companies and employment as well as excellent connectivity to London.
The top 25 creative regions in the UK, according to the CBRE study, are: 1 Manchester. 2 Reading. 3 Edinburgh. 4 Cambridge. 5 Glasgow. 6 Oxford. 7 Birmingham. 8 Bristol. 9 Brighton. 10 Leeds. 11 Belfast. 12 Southampton. 13 Newcastle. 14 Nottingham. 15 Sheffield. 16 Newbury. 17 Bracknell. 18 Liverpool. 19 Milton Keynes. 20 Cardiff. 21 Portsmouth. 22 Slough. 23 Coventry. 24 Norwich. 25 Leicester.