The challenges of developing sustainable cultural and creative ecosystems and the role of higher education institutions: Lessons from Dundee and Chatham, UK

Tamsyn Dent*, Lauren England, Roberta Comunian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper feeds into scholarly interest on place-based creative industrial development. It considers the creative-led economic development of two UK cities, Dundee and Chatham as emerging through a series of interdependent relationships between locally based higher education institutions (HEIs) and cultural and creative industries (CCIs) that are connected as part of a cultural and creative ecosystem (CCE). The discussion reflects on how interconnecting collaborations foster platforms and networks that support a sustainable CCE. Based on the research findings from qualitative investigations within each city, the paper applies the capability approach as a methodological tool to investigate how resources can be converted into tangible, accessible opportunities for local communities. The approach illustrates the need to focus on the resources that connect HEIs to CCIs within a geographical location for sustainable development. It concludes with a series of policy recommendations aimed at local governments to develop more integrated, ecological leadership models and policies to support sustainable CCEs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIndustry and Higher Education
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • capabilities approach
  • Chatham
  • creative intermediaries
  • Cultural and creative ecosystems
  • cultural and creative industries
  • Dundee
  • higher education

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