CHESTER has been named one of the top 10 creative places in the UK.
The ranking places the spotlight on the country’s arts scene, start-up culture, digital creativity and entrepreneurialism.
In the latest Startups Geek ranking, Chester came 7th out of 118 locations in the UK.
The methodology examined the number of creative jobs, the number of art galleries and theatres as well as the number of universities and the rank for creative subjects.
Academics from the University of Chester have welcomed the findings.
They say Chester’s position illustrates the creative strengths of the city, which are evident in venues ranging from the Storyhouse cultural centre to the CASC (Contemporary Art Space Chester) Gallery and the artisan cafes giving a caffeinated boost to creative entrepreneurs, to projects such as Chester Visual Arts.
Professor Paul Johnson, executive dean for Arts and Humanities, said: “There is clear evidence of the impact of arts and culture in placemaking, and the way that creative work builds communities and social capital.
“This can have wide-reaching benefits in terms of happiness and health for all of those who participate.
“The university of Chester is an anchor institution that, working with partners, can enable creative projects that can have a huge impact on our communities, and provide opportunities for our students and graduates.”
Initiatives to promote creativity include the University working with the Council to nurture creative, accessible, professional and community activity in the city that will help make the high street a more attractive, engaging, and vibrant place for people to spend time, live and work.
The university’s CASC Art Gallery in the centre of the city has also held student, staff, and graduate exhibitions, and as part of the Chester Rows High Street Heritage Action Zone scheme, the university and partners are working to explore the reuse of empty units and encourage activities on the Rows and stalls.
Work alongside partners to develop greater incubation, co-creation activities and spaces in the city, helping to grow this emerging scene, stretches further still and the city is increasingly becoming known for its entrepreneurialism.
Professor Kurt Allman, executive dean of Chester Business School, said: “The past two years have seen significant economic disruption, and it is this disruption that creates opportunities for enterprising minds.
“Creativity is an essential component of the entrepreneurial mindset. Creativity powers incremental and more radical forms of innovation, and if this is blended with opportunities presented by digital technologies, then businesses have the ability to leapfrog their competitors, reach more customers and drive consumption in differing ways.
“In the last few years we’ve seen more of our students engaging in entrepreneurial activities, particularly female entrepreneurs.”