Creative Quarter aims

What are The Creative Quarter Company’s aims?


Creative Enterprise: To foster enterprise to create employment and prosperity.

We are working to create a great business environment in The Creative Quarter where enterprise can flourish. To achieve this we will:

  • Support existing CQ businesses to grow and become sustainable through high-quality business support programmes.
  • Develop a diverse suite of ‘access to finance’ schemes appropriate to the priority sectors needs.
  • Attract new businesses into the area through a pro-active  inward investment approach.
  • Nurture a pipeline of new businesses who are likely to locate in The CQ through our partner organisations.

Articulture bed of flowers, literally

Creative People: To develop a workforce with the talent and skills to power the businesses in The CQ

A great place is created by great people. A great place attracts great people.

We already have many great people in The CQ. The success of The Creative Quarter depends more than anything on people wanting to be  there and to shape its future.
Our successful creative ecology comprises of entrepreneurs, sole traders and business owners; students and graduates; employees,  apprentices and interns; as well as the
investors, owners and agents who lease buildings, and the retailers and restaurateur is also about the wider visitor and our residents, those who breathe life into spaces and use the services on offer, who tell our story and help us attract more people.

We will work to attract and retain talented creative people into The Creative Quarter.

To achieve this we will:

  • Support property owners, agents and developers with vision who want to develop capital projects that will deliver real benefit for the area and fit with its special character.
  • Provide access to employment for 16-24 year olds in CQ businesses via apprenticeships and work experience.
  • Ensure CQ businesses take advantage of graduate placement schemes and internships to help grow their business.
  • Offer opportunities for people in The CQ to share ideas, collaborate, network and exchange knowledge.


Creative Place: To make The Creative Quarter an attractive place with the right infrastructure and atmosphere for business location and visitors.

We all know great places when we are in them. They are open to all ages, are places where people belong, and have a genuine pulse and heartbeat. They can brim with energy and vitality, or provide spaces for contemplation. We want The Creative Quarter to encompass places for all, and be a fantastic place to live, work and play.

Businesses and employees in the 21st century are attracted to the right business space, which reflects their needs and values, their flexible working and desire to be with the right mix of supporting companies. They enjoy heritage building re-purposed for the 21st Century, and care about environmental impact. They are drawn to, and create, dynamic public spaces, walking and cycling routes and public travel options, as well as a range of vibrant places to eat and drink.

The CQ’s industrial heritage has a lot to offer and build on. We will tap into and mine this authenticity, character and diversity of the CQ area and its heritage buildings to create a distinctive, yet local, place that is attractive and enjoyable to spend time in. The down side of this industrial architecture is its ‘hard edge’, so we will work to soften its edges, by greening small pockets of space and rethinking public realm and frontages.

We will work with partners to design unique streetscapes and vistas, creating a distinctive character that is ours alone, respecting our wonderful existing built form and heritage buildings and street pattern.

Our vision is to make the area easy to be in and work in – to find and to navigate and to be highly accessible, safe, walkable, enjoyable and – frankly – irresistible. We will also work to ensure that businesses have the optimal infrastructure they need for their employees. We will examine active management and planning and property regulations to avoid the trap of being too successful; with the area losing its character and squeezing out the very creative people who gave it its uniqueness in the beginning. So we will strive to retain diversity and mix, even as property values increase – recognising that short-term financial gains can kill the special character of neighbourhoods.

This Framework stresses our ambition to build on and maintain a strong sense of place and local identity in the area, which needs long-term stewardship and vision. This needs a shift in thinking about how we plan our spaces, and needs an iterative approach to create places that can respond to an evolving district over time.

We want to encourage and work with developers and owners with a different approach and long-term thinking; those who can respond and develop with the sense of place and quality of life as a goal. We will seek partners to join us in improving the space between buildings as much as buildings themselves, to create the public life that will underpin our success.

To achieve this we will:

  • Create a dynamic, well-designed accessible public realm in The CQ which makes the area attractive and appealing to visitors and businesses.
  • Develop a variety of creative workspace within The CQ area which has the right ‘look and feel’ for its workforce and enterprises.
  • Ensure the Lace Market and the wider CQ area develops as a heritage attraction for visitors.
  • Coordinate a regular programme of business, innovation, creative and cultural events, markets, street animation and festivals.
  • Establish fit-for-purpose transport, green and digital infrastructure.
  • Support The CQ to become the city’s primary independent retail and leisure centre with a vibrant daytime and night-time economy.
  • Support and develop the area’s rich arts and cultural scene, with digital activity exploited to its best.
  • Ensure the CQ is attractive for inner city living by a diverse range of people including young professionals and their families.

credit GameCity

These aims are all interconnected and symbiotic.

A creative place is about people, those who develop businesses and social activity that makes visible a creative pulse, drawing in like minded folk through a lively artistic, social, business, retail and leisure scene.

The Creative Quarter has the right combination of people, place and economic activity to sustain a living, creative ecosystem: a unique economic cluster with its own atmosphere and character.

The Creative Quarter Company’s role is to gently manage this creative ecology in The CQ, while still allowing it to retain an edge and disruptive energy.