British Council Creative Economy

Menu Show search
TOGETHER WE KNOW MORE: The Creative Economy team develops new collaborations, innovation and enterprise with the rapidly-changing creative and cultural industries worldwide


We connect people from different creative disciplines and places to test ideas, learn new skills and tackle social and civic challenges together.

You can read more about what we do in our Annual Report.

We focus on three key areas of work:


Makerspaces, incubators, pop-ups, labs and clusters—these new spaces allow more people to use their creativity in exciting and productive ways. We support and connect collaborative communities who are building imaginative new ventures. Some recent projects include:

The 3x3 Hub Exchange "twinning" spaces in the UK and Brazil

The Creative Hubkit — a free downloadable tool for people looking to set up a hub

Vietnam's Creative Hubs — the first extensive mapping of creative spaces in Vietnam

open movement° — an on-going, collaborative project, working to map innovative and creative spaces worldwide


Digital technology is having a huge impact on how creative ideas can be distributed and made more accessible. We co-produce imaginative projects that explore the potential of what this means for our cities and societies. Some recent projects include:

Playable City — a series of global experiments, encouraging citizens to engage with public spaces in playful and creative ways

Digital Futures UKMX — linking Dundee and Mexico City through a series of prototyping and making events which tackle civic issues


We’re helping to build sustainable businesses in the creative and cultural industries worldwide, sharing our knowledge and experience through skills workshops, mentoring and peer networks.  

We also share these insights with policymakers to promote the development of diverse creative economies worldwide. We always work in partnership with global and local organisations to co-create projects that have the greatest benefit and impact. Our work is part of the British Council's remit to create more open, inclusive and prosperous societies. Some recent projects include:

Creative Enterprise Toolkit, in partnership with Nesta, and now translated into six languages

The UK-Korea Catalyst Programme, bringing social enterprises together to share ideas and knowledge

How we work

All of our projects are carefully co-developed by UK and international partners, using the British Council's unique network of global resources.

Our UK team nurtures links with UK organisations and communities. We are constantly on the look out and interested to hear about imaginative and innovative projects which fit within our focus themes.

We work closely with our colleagues overseas who are likewise building local partnerships and opportunities to support long-term links to the UK.

The Creative Economy team is part of a larger Arts Department which has sector-specific teams like Music, Design and Film.

WHERE we work

We work in most places but focus on a few priority countries each year. In 2015 these include Brazil, Mexico, Kenya, China, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, NigeriaSouth Africa, Egypt and Turkey.

Please be aware that the Creative Economy team doesn’t provide travel grants for people to work internationally. There is support for individual artists to work internationally through the British Council/Arts Council England joint Artists International Development Fund, more information here.