Manchester Focus: How is the winding down of the NWDA affecting agencies in the city?

Manchester is already regarded as one of the creative hot spots of the UK. But this reputation is growing – fast. And with the MediaCityUK development in Salford now almost fully operational, the creative kudos of the area is only set to grow. So, to find out more about what’s really going on in the city, The Drum put a series of pertinent questions to 20 different agencies that operate at the coal-face of Manchester’s creative industry.In a series of feature pages, we look at the agencies' responses, to explore the varying industry perceptions of the city.

Manchester is already regarded as one of the creative hot spots of the UK. But this reputation is growing – fast. And with the MediaCityUK development in Salford now almost fully operational, the creative kudos of the area is only set to grow. So, to find out more about what’s really going on in the city, The Drum put a series of pertinent questions to 20 different agencies that operate at the coal-face of Manchester’s creative industry.In a series of feature pages, we look at the agencies' responses, to explore the varying industry perceptions of the city.

Julian Gratton, Managing Director & Creative Director, Red CFor those agencies with a good balanced portfolio of clients the loss won’t be huge. It is sad though that an organization responsible for attracting inward investment to the city has gone at a time when the city needs inward investment.Phil Marshall, Owner, Shoot The MoonWe’ve not really felt it from a client perspective, as it’s not directly our sector. However we have lost funding for business development, which we’ve had to work to replace from other sources. Simon Landi, Access AdvertisingWe’ve seen projects of all sizes scaled back or disappear altogether as their funding is cut by the lack of NWDA funding – we’re sure the money will find its way back into the industry somewhere at some point, but we don’t yet know when and where that will appear.Nick Rhind, Managing Director, CTI DigitalThis has barely affected any agencies from my community connections. They only dealt with the traditional big agencies and therefore the rest of us were pretty much ignored. However Northwest Vision and Media have done a great job, but they were funded by NWDA. It’s just a pity they only did this in the last couple of years. Reuben Webb, Creative Director, IAS B2BIt’s having just as much affect as it did when it was up and running – none whatsoever. Wayne Silver, Director of New Business, One Marketing CommunicationsObviously it’s a major flagship loss to the city’s promotional impetus. Rightly or wrongly, we have not had a great deal of contact with the organisation over the years but the loss of any voice which lobbies for the North West is a net negative. Hopefully, with the rise and rise of MediaCity, Manchester is now justifiably the UK’s second city (obviously we would all say first) so perhaps this will ameliorate the impact. Paul Heaton, Creative Director, Reform CreativeI think it is still too early to be sure of the full impact but certainly the winding down of the NWDA is a huge disappointment for creatives in the North West. Fergus McCallum, CEO, TBWA\ManchesterI can't honestly say it has had any discernible effect so far. Steve Peters, Code ComputerloveI don't think we are seeing the effect yet. Vision and Media, which was the chief vehicle for NWDA's intervention within our sector, is still winding down. The biggest impact they were making on the creative services sector was in the area of talent and skills development. This is still - and will be - a major issue for the sector, especially with the need created by MediaCity - just at the time when this support has been removed.

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