As we saw in the previous chapter, critics of UK creative industries policy have argued that there was very little actual policy at the national level, despite the volume of statements of intent, strategy papers, ‘think-pieces’ and rhetoric (Oakley, 2004, 2006). The majority of activity in this field took place at the regional level, through the activities and investments of a perplexing array of organisations. What we see in this case is perhaps the supreme case among many examples of ‘policy attachment’ (Gray, 2004) under New Labour, as the ‘creative industries’ concept was attached to regional economic development. In this way, what was largely a discourse at the national level—supported by rapidly gathered data in the form of the mapping documents (Channer, 2013)—became enacted through the creation of local support networks, small-scale development of workspace, programmes for skills development, and the provision of sector-specific business advice (O’Connor and Gu, 2010).
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