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Data and method 1. Introduction We selected the city of Brighton as the site for

and brokerage organisation, Wired Sussex16. In

the research. Located on the English south coast,

2008 Brighton was home to one of the highest

Brighton has been identified as one of Britain’s

concentration of ‘bohemians’ in the UK (as drawn

‘creative hotspots’ or ‘Super Cities’ . Wedged

from the 2001 census data)17.



between the South Downs national park and the sea, it has been a popular tourist destination since the late 18th century, being just over 50 miles from London. It has two popular universities – Brighton and Sussex – and retains a high proportion of students after graduation. The University of Brighton has a strong tradition in art and design, with an institutional history reaching back to Brighton School of Art in 1859, ensuring a steady supply of arts graduates. The University of Sussex has a global reputation in the humanities and informatics. The first Brighton Festival took place in 1967, and has grown into England’s largest annual arts festival, inspiring several other festivals including Artists Open Houses, CineCity, the Great Escape, the Brighton Photo Biennial and most recently the Brighton Digital Festival. In addition to its vibrant cultural scene, since the 1990s Brighton has been home to a proliferation of start-up companies in digital media and design services, many of which affiliate with local

We decided to do a survey to collect the data for this research. The reason is there was no readily available group of Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes capturing the creative and digital industries we could use to retrieve data from official firm datasets like the Business Register Employment Survey (BRES), the Annual Business Survey (ABS), or the UK Innovation Survey. Even if we could have used existing materials, those datasets would not have had information at a high level of resolution about important questions like how Brighton CDIT firms combine arts and technology to innovate and grow, or the drivers for their clustering. The first and perhaps most challenging issue for us, was to bind the ‘Creative, Digital, and IT’ sector in to select the targets for our survey. We decided to ground this classification on the productive activities being carried out by firms in the cluster, rather than necessary (if contested) ‘top down’ definitions based on standard industrial classification codes.

associations. The largest of these is the membership



Chapain, C., Cooke, P., De Propris, L., MacNeill, S., and MateosGarcia, J. (2010), Creative clusters and innovation. Putting creativitiy on the map. Available from:

HSBC (2011), The Future of Business 2011. Available from: future_of_business_2011.pdf



Sapsed, J., Grantham, A., and DeFillippi, R. (2007), A bridge over troubled waters: Bridging organisations and entrepreneurial opportunities in emerging sectors. Research Policy, 36 (9). pp. 1314-1334.

Clifton, N. (2008), Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography, 90 (1), pp. 63-82.


The Brighton Fuse  
The Brighton Fuse