Launch of Creativity Commission

Phil Redmond to chair Mayoral Commission on Creativity and Innovation

Professor Phil Redmond CBE is to chair a Creativity and Innovation Commission set up by Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson.

The former Mersey TV supremo, who was also Creative Director and Deputy Chair of Liverpool’s Capital of Culture year in 2008, will head an independent review of how the city can maximise the potential of the industry.

The Commission includes a range of local, national and internationally recognised experts from the world of culture, media and sport. They will hear evidence from the city’s diverse and eclectic creative sector, who will shape their recommendations.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the creative sector employs almost 12,000 people across the City Region in roles ranging from the media, publishing and ICT through to architecture, design and the performing arts.

The Commission will look at how creativity can be stimulated, nurtured and fostered within schools and communities, promote innovation to grow more businesses; consider ways in which different sectors can work together and promote creative collaboration

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Liverpool has long been recognised as a creative city and has produced some of the world’s best writers, artists, comedians, musicians, playwrights and sports people.

“Whether it is arts or science, culture or business there is something in our DNA which means we have huge amounts of energy, talent and determination.

“I have asked Phil Redmond to look at what more we can do to try and take the city to the next level and make sure that current and future generations have the best possible chance of developing their full potential.

“The Commission will listen to the views of many of the fantastic organisations in the city and use them as a basis to develop ways in which the city can move to the next level.”

Professor Phil Redmond said: “Liverpool has always been regarded as a ‘pool of creative talent’ and what the Commission will look at is how best we harness that heritage for future growth.

“What is it about this particular place that created the world’s first wet dock that revolutionised global trade that in turn made it, at one time, one of the richest places on earth? How that influenced its culture so that even through economic decline it further inspired people and their ideas that then went on to have global impact: whether engineering, architecture or literature or football or shopping or music, education, science and the arts the list of Liverpool firsts continues to expand.

“Everything, in the end, comes down to an idea. And that usually means someone, somewhere has been inspired to a single act of creativity.

“The Commission has been drawn from people with experience of developing creativity as a cultural tool and its role in social history and will be looking, above all, at what has, what does and what will continue to influence people and their ideas: then bottle it.”

Culture minister Ed Vaizey, speaking about Phil Redmond, said: “He’s a great creative and cultural powerhouse of Liverpool, he’s passionate about this city, as is the Mayor. They both care hugely about Liverpool and want to the best for the city, and therefore those who want to live and work here.

“I think the fact that Phil has been put in charge of this commission shows just how serious local government in Liverpool takes creativity and culture as being at the beating heart of this incredible city.”

The other members of the commission are:

• Peter Salmon – Director England, BBC

• Stuart Cosgrove – Director of Creative Diversity at Channel 4

• Alastair Machray, Liverpool Echo Editor in Chief

• Sir Ken Robinson – an internationally recognised expert on creativity and innovation

• Dr Denise Barrett Baxendale MBE – Chief Executive of Everton in the Community

• Dr David Fleming OBE – Director of National Museums Liverpool

• Aideen McGinley OBE – BBC Trust member

• Claire McColgan MBE – Director of Culture Liverpool

A final report with recommendations will be submitted to the Mayor in late spring 2015.

FACTFILE: LIVERPOOL – A CENTRE OF CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION

• The Capital of Pop – more Liverpool artists have had a number one hit than any other town or city

• The Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Visual Art is the only one in the UK

• Alan Bleasdale, Adrian Henri, Roger McGough, Jimmy McGovern, Brian Patten and Willy Russell

• The world’s first public health officer – Dr William Henry Duncan

• Liverpool financed and laid the first ever Atlantic telegraph cable in 1886

• Football nets were invented by Thomas Brodie, Liverpool’s municipal engineer

• Meccano model trains and the Dinky Toy were invented by Liverpudlian Frank Hornby

• Home to the world’s first School of Tropical Medicine which discovered Malaria was passed by mosquitos

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