As we are based in Cheshire, people often ask why we have not chosen a city location such as the creative hubs such as Manchester, Liverpool and London.
We based ourselves in Macclesfield over 16 years ago as it was 20 minutes from Manchester, 1.5 hours from London, 15 minutes to the airport and we’re surrounded by beautiful countryside.
The only negative with the location is trying to get the required skillets and investment that this sector needs. So I have been working with the local council, Cheshire East, and the Skills and Growth Company to create Weave which is to help attract and retain the skills required and get investment into this massive growth sector.
Cheshire is not well known for the creative and digital sector but it should be. Did you know Angry Birds was published in Macclesfield and all the Lego games are made in Knutsford and Wilmslow?
We have also created the Weave website www.weave.org.uk and the Shift website www.shift-digital.co.uk which are both part of a initiative between Cheshire East Council, The Skills and Growth company and local technology based businesses such as ourselves.
The Weave network is an industry-led group to promote the creative and digital sector, address skills gaps and help ensure our businesses can continue to flourish. Cheshire East is home to a thriving creative cluster, this includes a wide range of expertise and specialisms such as programming, software development, game and app design, website building and advertising. Although a majority of the sector’s businesses are small, with around 80 per cent employing less than 10 staff, the borough is also home to a number of truly world-leading businesses. These include: Warner Bros-owned TT Fusion, makers of Lego games, in Wilmslow; ThinkPositive’s newly-established European design centre, in Bollington; Barclays global technology centre, in Knutsford; and McCann, in Prestbury, the largest advertising agency outside London.
Recently, an event was hosted for the games industry at Macclesfield Town Hall, this brought together major games developers, publishers, local businesses, universities and the council to discuss how we can grow the sector in this area.
This event was the first of many. For more info, please visit http://www.weave.org.uk
We look forward to working closely with Weave to help promote Cheshire’s Creative & Digital Cluster.