Communications, Marketing & Creative Industries
Communication and marketing in the region is very strong (this is particularly evident through the Business Festival!) with many agencies and businesses offering a wide range of services and skills comprising branding, PR, advertising, marketing, social media, web and digital.
These types of businesses are often classified under ‘Creative industries’ which is diverse with many strands and also incorporates a wide range of professions from film and TV, social media, advertising, music, crafts, to computer games and animation.
Leicester and Leicestershire’s creative industries have grown exponentially in the last ten years, helped by regeneration projects such as that in Leicester’s cultural quarter, where new start-ups have been supported with business by organisations such as Creative Leicestershire and co-working spaces that enable them to thrive.
This area is reported to have the largest number of creative businesses outside London with an impressive workforce of around 11,690 people locally across 4,400 businesses.
The comedy scene is a local strength with Leicester being famed for its annual Comedy Festival. First held in 1994, it now features over 850 individual events over its 19-day duration and is one of the biggest, most well-respected comedy festivals in the UK.
The area is home to an abundance of theatre and performing arts. Most of the county’s markets towns host a local theatre including Melton, Concordia in Hinckley, Loughborough Town Hall and the Century Theatre in Coalville. The Kilworth House Theatre which opened in 2007 is a popular, unique 500-seat open-air theatre, whilst Market Harborough hosts ‘Arts Fresco’ - one of the largest, community-led free street theatre festivals in the UK, each September.
In the city centre itself, there are a plethora of creative and arts venues. Curve, the state-of-the-art theatre opened its doors in 2008 and now engages almost one million people a year through performances and projects. De Montfort Hall opened in 1913 and is one of the city’s most recognised landmark buildings. It has a 2,200-capacity auditorium has seen a plethora of infamous acts over the years, from the Beatles and Rolling Stones to Pink Floyd, David Bowie and Bon Jovi as well as comedy, classical concerts and touring shows. Other popular arts venues in Leicester include The Y Theatre, the Little Theatre, Sue Townsend Theatre, Leicester international arts centre and Athena–all thriving businesses with unique markets.
Testament to the strength and passion of creative industries in the region, a group of individuals calling themselves ‘the Haymarket Consortium,’ succeeded in bringing the Haymarket Theatre back to life after an 11-year gap, after securing a £3.6 million investment from Leicester City Council, which saw the theatre with a new main 900-seat auditorium, re-open in 2018.