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Royal Shakespeare Company and Punchdrunk join £80m scheme to boost the creative industries

Royal Shakespeare Company staff are facing redundancies Audiences at the Royal Shakespeare Company, one of the organisations involved in the £80 million Creative Industries Cluster Programme
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Punchdrunk and the Royal Shakespeare Company are among organisations involved in an £80 million programme to address issues within the creative industries.

Led by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Creative Industries Cluster Programme will support nine research and development projects, known as ‘creative clusters’, around the UK.

The programme will also fund a new Policy and Evidence Centre, which will undertake independent research into the UK’s creative industries to inform government decisions.

This will be led by Nesta, a foundation set up to promote innovation, in partnership with 10 universities.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said: “Britain’s creative industries are an economic and cultural powerhouse and the creative clusters will ensure they continue to thrive in different regions across the country.

“These partnerships between business, academia and industry will encourage the use of future technology to develop new products and experiences, and boost employment opportunities across the breadth of the UK.”

The R&D projects include the Bristol and Bath cluster, which will focus on creating jobs, companies and products in the region’s screen and performing industries, by helping them to adapt to emerging technologies.

This cluster is led by the University of West England, in partnership with organisations including the RSC, audiobook company Audible and the BBC.

Royal Holloway University in Egham will lead a StoryFutures creative cluster, in partnership with organisations including Punchdrunk and the National Film and Television School.

StoryFutures aims to drive developments in creative and immersive storytelling, and to produce the next generation of talent in the sector.

Other clusters include a project aiming to establish the Humber as a centre of excellence in immersive storytelling, led by the University of York.

The funding comes from the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, which aims to strengthen innovation in industries in the UK.

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