Newcastle focus: What's the mood like in the region? Drummond Central, Everything Different and others discuss

There's no doubt that Newcastle has put itself on the map for creativity over the last couple of years.

But what is the mood like in the region?

The Drum caught up with some experts from Newcastle’s creative sector to get the inside track on the health of the industry in the north-east and the general feeling among agencies in the city.

Ben Quigley, group chief executive, Everything Different, and chair of IPA member activities around the UK

Confidence is very high. Election uncertainty is over and with wages moving ahead of inflation for the first time in years, consumers are spending on bigger ticket items again.

Creative industries in the north-east are benefitting from this increased consumer confidence and higher levels of investment are driving sustainable growth.

As a city region we’ve been ‘hunter gathering’ contracts nationally and internationally as part of our DNA in the last 10 years and servicing brands from HQs here with a passionate, can-do attitude that clients love.

This is a region that ‘walks the talk’ and clients like to do business with friendly, down to earth Geordies. Ambition and confidence are growing…

Danae Abadom, director, Independent Events

The mood is really buoyant, you can feel the optimism returning. We noticed a real difference in late 2014 which has continued into this year.

We are seeing clients wanting to try new things and not be as cautious as they have been, with standout events such as the Rugby World Cup and the Tall Ships Race coming to the region there are some exciting creative projects ahead and certainly some great opportunities for the industry in 2015 and 2016.

Phil Lowery, managing director, Projector Brand Communications

I think the mood is positive in general. There seems to be a lot of busy agencies across a wide range of disciplines.

We’re lucky that in terms of clients there’s some really good businesses based here that understand the value of design and want to build their brand – so for agencies like us there are lots of possibilities. Traditional sectors are busy reinventing themselves, the technology sector is booming and part of this success is due to these clients putting design at the heart of their business.

We’re also seeing a fair bit of interest from outside the region from firms further south and overseas – the smart clients that are taking advantage of the cost-savings we can offer while still providing high levels of creativity and great service.

We’re also lucky to have regional initiatives like Creative North and national bodies like Design Council that help build the awareness of our sector and there’s a definite pride in the region that work we’re doing can compete with anywhere else, and that’s great to see.

Julie Drummond, managing director, Drummond Central

Creative industries, property companies, tech-based businesses, I can honestly say that all sectors are very positive right now. We’re very lucky.

Not only do we have more than our fair share of innovators and startups, most are operating with a spirit of collaboration and collectively we’re helping the region prosper. It’s all good.

Brett Jacobson, managing director, Mediaworks

The city is absolutely buzzing at the moment, we have a real digital tech cluster happening within the industry and our universities have some great startups revitalising the opportunities for the creative sector. I’d love to see this continue and see more collaboration between the regions traditional sectors and the creative/digital agencies we have to see what might happen. We have a world class engineering and manufacturing heritage to the region so to combine this with the fast growing digital and creative sectors could drive cutting edge innovation if the right environment can be developed.

This piece was originally published as part of The Drum's Blackwell's Britain series, exploring the creative sector of some of the UK's largest cities and regions.

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