Ranked fifth globally for cutting-edge thinking (by VisitBritain/GfK Anholt Nations Brand Index), the United Kingdom (UK) is home to one of the largest creative industries in the world. Holding meetings here is an opportunity to experience exceptional art, inventive venues and progressive thinkers. Tap into this innovative, entrepreneurial spirit by planning an event in one of these four visionary UK cities.
The creative industry is growing faster in Manchester than anywhere else in the UK—and no other European city has invested as much into the sector (to the tune of $44 billion invested in both the public and private sector in the last few years). Manchester, located in North England, has set itself apart as one of Europe’s most successful creative, digital, tech and media hubs, with physical and geographical clusters aiding the city’s creative achievements. Projects, districts and partnerships have innovated how individuals and industries collaborate to support opportunities in media production, software development and digital health. One example is MediaCity UK, a 200-acre live-work-play destination that’s considered an international hub for creative talent.
This seaside city is a creative-tech industry hot spot, with more than 1,500 high-value businesses employing nearly 3,000 people. In addition to hosting BrightonSEO (a search marketing conference) and the Brighton Digital Festival (an annual exploration of digital culture), Brighton is also home to England’s largest and most established art festivals: The Brighton Festival and the Brighton Fringe festival. Planning a unique event here is simple thanks to more than 600 venue options, including The Grand Brighton, an iconic Victorian hotel that offers seafront meeting and event spaces for up to 900 delegates.
Home to Upfest, Europe’s largest street art and graffiti festival, and the works of renowned artist Banksy, Bristol is a creative city that is bursting with exciting and diverse venues. The vibrant city’s allure begins with its diverse filming locations and cutting-edge facilities (such as the famed Bottle Yard Studios, the largest dedicated film and television studio in the West of England). Creative and media sectors in this southwest region of England employ more than 20,000 people and support a large diversity of talent—from animation (including the award-winning Aardman Animations, creator of the animated television series Shaun the Sheep and Wallace and Gromit) to film and TV (including high-profile BBC television productions such as Poldark and Sherlock).
Cardiff is the UK’s first “Music City” and is currently one of the country’s leading centers for on-screen production. Many renowned and established studios are located here, including Pinewood Studio Wales and BBC Drama Village in Cardiff Bay, an incredible 170,000-square-foot facility that features nine studios that have created some of the BBC’s flagship dramas such as Casualty and Doctor Who. Central Square in Cardiff is also the location for BBC Wales’ new regional headquarters—an inspiring facility that is not only engaging new technologies but also supporting an exciting regeneration in the city center, particularly for the creative sector. Planners can take advantage of some of Cardiff’s unique and functional venues, such as the iconic Principality Stadium, which is home to the Wales national union rugby team and has a capacity for more than 73,000.