Report finds untapped potential of creative industries

Date published: 9 December 2015

A new report has identified Townsville’s digital and creative industries as an untapped path to jobs and new investment in the city.

Released by Mayor Jenny Hill today, Growing the creative industries in Townsville is a two-year collaboration between Townsville City Council and James Cook University.

Research included both those in the creative industries and their clients and focused on current supply and demand as well as potential for growth.

Sectors surveyed included architecture, design, advertising and marketing, software and digital content and film.

Cr Hill said while those involved in the creative industries were already key contributors to our local economy, growing and engaging with that sector could lead to significant investment and job creation.

"As Townsville continues to expand, we need to look at opportunities to further diversify our economy," Cr Hill said.

"Townsville City Council has long supported investment in our local arts scene, believing it not only contributes greatly to the cultural life of our city, but also has the potential to positively impact our region’s economy.

"Thanks to the digital revolution, the creative industries sector is one of the leading areas of economic growth in Australia and we need to ensure Townsville is taking full advantage of opportunities for new jobs and investment that come our way."

Cr Hill said the potential for new creative industries had been identified by business, industry, and government stakeholders in the Townsville Futures Plan and more recently, the Townsville City Economic Development Plan 2013-17.

The report found that while the region was widely regarded as having the skills and expertise, around 22% of business was lost out of the area, including larger, higher paying projects.

This report makes a series of key recommendations for promoting growth within the sector, including six key points specifically for Townsville City Council.

The data also provides direct insights into the various employment, job creation and business development issues that creative industries practitioners currently face, which both enable and hamper growth of the sector.