Creative and Cultural | Sectors | Cumbria LEP
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Sectors

Creative and Cultural

England’s ‘Natural Capital of Creativity and Culture’

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The Creative and Cultural sector supports 11,000 FTE jobs and can legitimately claim to be ‘England’s Natural Capital of Creativity and Culture’, having the most protected land of any area in England. This presents an excellent opportunity for showcasing the broad spectrum of creative and cultural activity and a hugely attractive location in which to develop new creative industry businesses.

The estimated Creative GVA for Cumbria is £84.82m and includes cultural, creative and digital businesses, which indicates a growing ‘createch’ sector particularly in Carlisle, Kendal and Barrow. There are a large number of self-employed arts and culture workers and significant activity taking place across Cumbria’s districts, with 12 arts organisations that receive ongoing support from Arts Council England covering a range of art forms.

Several key cultural facilities and artists in Cumbria, such as craft makers, are helped by spend from the visitor economy. Alongside the professional activities there is a thriving amateur and voluntary creative sector in Cumbria. There are over 200 cultural and creative assets across the county including:

18 Networks, 35 arts festivals, 10 strategic place-based projects and partnerships, 26 cultural venues, 28 museums and heritage buildings, 10 co-working spaces, 6 ‘Healthy Libraries’ and 44 cultural organisations and creative enterprises including 12 ACE National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs).

South Lakeland also has an important concentration of the creative industries and is seen by Arts Council England as one of its priority investment areas for the North West.


  • Creating the Foundations for Creativity and Culture to Flourish

  • Enabling the Creative and Cultural Sector to Grow

  • Promoting Cumbria’s unique offer to national and international audiences

Our aim is to support creativity through a focus on people and connectivity by creating a curriculum that promotes the arts alongside science, technology, engineering and maths, and enhances our digital capability so that our creative businesses can operate effectively.

We will ensure that there are sufficient spaces within which our businesses can thrive, support effective networks to share best practice and experience, and best utilise the wonderful landscape and environment in which we live.

Overall, we must promote Cumbria as a great place to start and grow creative industries and integrate creativity and culture into the place making and place shaping agenda in our towns and villages.

Our creative businesses and people alongside our tourism and rural communities together shape the landscape in which we thrive, and the sector should be central in shaping our future prosperity.

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