The creative industry in Ramsgate has trebled over the last decade according to newly published research by Heritage Lab CIC and Canterbury Christ Church University.
The Creative Ramsgate project is the first piece of targeted research into the creative sector in Ramsgate and was funded by Locate in Kent and Arts Council England.
The research mapped current creative businesses in Ramsgate and sought to identify the future scale and need for workspace in the area, vital to future growth.
Key findings from a survey of creatives in the town included:
- Ramsgate’s creative sector is nearly three times larger than 10 years ago duemainly to a significant influx of new businesses to the area.
- The vast majority of those who responded to the research are in music, performing and visual arts by some distance, with film, radio and television the next largest group. Crafts, publishing, advertising, marketing and design were also represented.
- Microbusinesses (0-9 employees) represented the vast majority of respondents
- Investment and business networks, along with suitable premises, were identified as priority needs for respondents, along with greater access to skills and business support and advice.
Rob Kenyon, CEO and Founder, Heritage Lab CIC, said: “At nearly three times larger than 10 years ago, this report provides evidence that Ramsgate is a growing and vibrant creative hub.
“It highlights the potential for Ramsgate’s amazing heritage buildings to help fulfil the need for suitable business premises and Heritage Lab will use the report to help identify sites to regenerate into curiously creative spaces.”
Professor Mike Weed, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) at Canterbury Christ Church University, said: “This report is the first research to map the creative and digital economy in Ramsgate. Involving more than 220 respondents it shows a thriving and growing sector that has benefited from the migration of businesses from London, but is also in need of suitable premises locally, business support and investment to expand further.
“We are delighted to work in partnership with Heritage Lab CIC on this project as Research Lead. As a University we are committed to working with our local communities to support the regional economy. This project has helped to identify Ramsgate’s current position and its potential within the creative industries in Kent and the Thames Estuary Production Corridor.”
Gavin Cleary, CEO, Locate in Kent, added: “We know that many creative industries and start-ups are concentrated in areas with a rich heritage– and the results of this survey back up the key role Ramsgate has to play in the sector.
“Ramsgate is ideally placed as a prime location for those wanting to invest or relocate in Kent. This research will provide invaluable insight for investors and business leaders about the future opportunities in the town.
“The research comes at an exciting time for the creative industries in Kent with investment and exciting projects underway that will unlock the potential of this corner of the South East and put the region on the map as a global centre of excellence.”
The results of the research were completed by the University at the end of this summer via an online public survey.
Research showed Ramsgate was attracting the sector due to good connectivity to London, lower property prices and a growing talent pool, underpinned by its rich heritage and vibrant cultural scene. The culture-led revival of Margate has also helped kickstart wider regeneration in the area.
The research highlighted that largest group of businesses have been operational 1-5 years but with similar sized groups in the 6-10 and 11-20 years brackets. Some 78% of businesses are run from home and 58% are operated by people who have moved to the town in the past 2-10 years. Family/personal life and work/life balance are the main reasons for the decision to be based in Ramsgate.
Policy recommendations from the research include the need to prioritise tailored business advice and support to the creative and digital sector and promote the creative identity of Ramsgate to attract new businesses, as well as encouraging investment to grow the sector and scale-up creative and digital business.
The Creative Ramsgate report from Heritage CIC can be downloaded here http://heritagelab.org.uk/research/