Creative Quarter Nottingham is a winner in Europe!

Creative Quarter Nottingham is a winner in Europe!

Mon 23 November 2015

The Creative Quarter (CQ) is delighted to announce that it has won a prestigious European Enterprise Promotion Award! In what is a massive achievement for the project and the city, the CQ beat off tough competition from across the EU to win the Improving the Business Environment award at a glitzy awards ceremony held in Luxembourg, current home of the European Parliament, last night. 

Craig Chettle, Vice-Chair of the Creative Quarter Board and Chief Executive of Confetti Media Group, said:

“This award is a really big achievement for the CQ. The project is only two and a half years old and we’ve made great strides in that time. From significant increase in visitor expenditure, to the creation of new jobs  - It’s really invigorating to see the rate of growth and investment in the area – supporting a creative culture that’s seldom-seen outside the capital.  

"I’d like to say well done to the CQ team and my fellow board members on all the hard work that’s helped secure this win.  It’s a significant milestone and achievement for the CQ and the city."

News of the project’s European award comes hot on the heels of the CQ being awarded the UK’s Enterprising Britain award for Improving the Business Environment last month. Being recognised by the European Commission in this way demonstrates the massive impact of the project in less than three years. 

The Creative Quarter has, and continues, to provide a real boost to the region's economy, creating jobs, bringing inward investment into the area and supporting businesses already here to achieve high growth. Key achievements so far include:

  • Over 850 businesses and entrepreneurs supported and signposted to business support and/or access to finance information.
  • 650 new jobs created across the CQ.
  • 83 apprenticeships created in The CQ; 251 in the Growth Plan priority sectors.
  • Retail vacancy reduced by almost 50% on 2012 levels.
  • An overall increase in the total Rateable Value of the property in the area of 16% from October 2012.
  • An overall increase of the Gross Business Rates due in the area of 26.15% from October 2012.
  • Increased visitor expenditure of (minimum) £3.72 million due to additional events in the CQ area.
  • Major public realm improvements, funded by Nottingham City Council and the European Union, across the city have also been delivered, improving access to The CQ, the public spaces of the city, and the entrances into the city.
  • Planning applications in the CQ area have increased by 150% in 2014-15 from 2011-12 levels
  • Redevelopment of Sneinton Market and Dakeyne Street creative hubs
  • Improvements in broadband through CQ Connect and BDUK programmes.

The UK's Minister Small Business, Industry and Enterprise Minister, Anna Soubry,said:

“I want to congratulate the Creative Quarter for promoting enterprise in my local city of Nottingham and winning this prestigious European award. It is a great example of local businesses and a city council working together.”

Held since 2006, the European Enterprise Promotion Awards have rewarded public bodies and public-private partnerships who have shown excellence in promoting entrepreneurship and small businesses. Over 3100 projects have entered during this time and the awards' objectives are to create a greater awareness of the role entrepreneurs play in European society and encourage and inspire potential entrepreneurs.

The European Commission jury, who judged the awards, highlighted why the CQ won the award, stating:

'The Creative Quarter project showed imaginative policy changes and use of policy instruments working in cooperation with grass-roots and practical initiatives to support the energy and drive of entrepreneurs. It also evidenced vision, strategic use of European funds for sustainable development and a people-focused creative approach to urban innovation.’   

‘It has showed a strong holistic approach to regeneration and improving the business environment – set in a conservation area it has brought back into productive use the historic buildings, and offered access to new technology. It has focused its activities, developing cross trading/development opportunities whilst also focusing on the supply and training of the required workforce. Operates as a very strong public/private sector partnerships, which has allowed it to access and fully utilise EU and UK funding to deliver both the improvements to the physical infrastructure, in the control of the local authority as well as the projects wider support packages.’         

The CQ is the flagship project of Nottingham’s City Council’s Growth Plan to create jobs and economic growth in the city centre. Established in July 2012 as part of Nottingham’s City Deal to make the CQ‘s designated area, which consists of the historic Lace Market, Hockley, Sneinton Market and BioCity, a great place in which to start, grow and sustain a creative business.

Creative Quarter Board Member and Nottingham City Council Portfolio holder for Jobs, Growth and Transport, Cllr Nick McDonald said:

“The Creative Quarter has always been about promoting enterprise, creating jobs and growth. The rate at which this is happening – and the impact for Nottingham’s businesses and young people – is fantastic.

“I’m delighted that the impact of the Creative Quarter has been recognised internationally.”