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Creative thinking

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has committed to an ambitious long-term project that will make the Thames Estuary the world’s largest creative corridor; a world leader for the creative and cultural industries. The award of £4.3m funding into a £6.7m programme to the University of Kent, on behalf of the Thames Estuary Production Corridor Partnership, confirms government commitment to the long-term economic prosperity of the Estuary. Unique in its scale of ambition, the Thames Estuary Production Corridor will unlock long term, transformational, culture-led growth across North Kent and South Essex and establish the region as a creative hub connected to London, the UK, Europe and other global markets. It is estimated that longer-term investment in Estuary’s creative industries could deliver 50,000 new jobs, adding an extra £3.1bn to the UK economy. The creative sector – everything from music, theatre and the visual arts to gaming and film – is the UK’s fastest growing sector, generating £100bn+ each year for the UK economy, and sustaining over 3m jobs. The Estuary’s 16,000 creative businesses currently employ 46,000 people. Since 2014, the Thames Estuary’s freelance creative economy has grown by 20%.