Leicester named the fifth best creative hotspot in the UK

Leicester has been named as one of the top five cities in the UK when it comes to having a thriving creative community. 

A study by content creation platform Adobe says Leicester is ideal for budding creatives who wish to immerse themselves in a new, inspiring environment and is a hot spot for the artistically inclined. 


World-famous designer Dame Zandra Rhodes with DMU fashion students

Adobe says the UK arts scene is booming, with more than 2.3 million people employed in creative industries and so they wanted to identify the best. 

Only Brighton, London, Edinburgh and Manchester finished above Leicester in the survey. 

The results are a real shot in the arm for De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) which is a hotbed of creative talent with thousands of students studying subjects such as fashion and textiles, performing arts, music technology, interior and product design, computer game art, fine art and literature. 

Many graduates have remained in the city, setting up creative hubs to contribute to the thriving arts scene or creating new arts-based businesses. 

DMU is home to a museum, the Leicester Gallery and numerous performance spaces and it hosts or is involved in several public festivals every academic year. 


Dance students performing at DMU, which hosts Leicester Dance Festival

The university is also a proud champion for the new £1.3m Create Growth programme to support creative businesses in Leicester and Leicestershire to scale up. 

Jill Cowley. Pro Vice-Chancellor Skills and Training and Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Design and Humanities, said: “This is a really encouraging report. It highlights a lot of things we’ve known for a long time here in Leicester. The city is a hub for creativity and has a packed and colourful calendar of artistic public events throughout the year. 

“DMU has, since it first opened as Leicester School of Art more than 150 years ago, placed creative subjects at the heart of what it does and we’re proud to support and run a significant number of those events across the city, including the upcoming Riverside Festival and the Leicester Comedy Festival. 

“With so many of our graduates going on to use their talents in local creative industries, DMU’s influence in the city is clear, and this reputation for creativity will only strengthen in the future.” 


The Contour Fashion Show takes place at The Venue@DMU every summer

Leicester took fifth place after Adobe number crunchers looked at six factors that indicated a thriving creative scene: The number of museums, art galleries and theatres per 100,000 people, the number of art schools, arts festivals hosted in areas such as comedy, dance, music and literature and the numbers of creative jobs on offer. 

The report says: “Leicester is in fifth place thanks to the city boasting a whopping 1,749 arts festivals, as well as their being 346 registered creative jobs. The city also has 2.75 museums per 100,000 people, such as the Leicester Museum and Art Gallery. 

“Leicester is also popular in terms of its film and digital art scene, music and performance! The city offers artists a creative, nurturing environment in which they can thrive.” 


The DMU Degree Show draws huge crowds to celebrate the work of our creative students

Rachel Granger, Professor of Urban Economies at DMU, said: “Leicester’s secret as one of the most vibrant creative cities in the country has been known for over a decade but often gets overlooked in national studies that focus in on large creative studios in the wealthiest cities.  

“The diversity of Leicester’s ecosystem provides a melting pot of creative skills buoyed by local energy and talent from London. This creates fertile ground for ambitious microbusinesses serving clients in London and European cities.” 

Posted on Friday 24 May 2024

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