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Where are the UK's marketing hotspots?

According to, more than £20 million is being injected into the UK’s increasing number of creative industries, whilst last year British creative industries make a record contribution to the economy, injecting £101 billion, according to Creative Industries Policy and Research Centre.

However, all this creativity is not spread equally across the country. British business and consumer marketplace did a study to identify which areas across the UK have an above-average specialism within the creative industries, with the highest employment rate and businesses.

Key findings

  • After London (78,060), Manchester has the highest employment rate within advertising and marketing (7,730).
  • Out of the top six towns and cities, Oxford currently has the highest gross added value (GVA) within advertising and marketing, in terms of employment at 2.49%.
  • Unsurprisingly, London has the highest number of businesses with an above-average specialisation at 8,513 businesses.

The study shows that the following six towns and cities had the highest employment, with an above average number of employees specialising in advertising and marketing: London (78,060 employees), Manchester (7,730), Slough/Heathrow (5,125), Oxford (4,055), Leeds (3,590) and finally Reading with 3,455.

Furthermore, the study assessed the areas with the highest employment rate, and its overall added value to the local specialism. This revealed that although London has the highest employment number, Oxford has the highest gross value added (GVA) in reference to the number of employees employed in this sector. Indicating that the value of advertising and marketing in Oxford has increased by 2.49%. Thereafter the order was as follows: London (2.42%), Reading (1.75%), Manchester (1.33%), Leeds (1.32%) and finally Slough & Heathrow (1.08%).

The top towns and cities with the highest opportunities in marketing and advertising with the most businesses with an above average specialisation, include: London (8,513), Manchester (1,070), Slough & Heathrow (1,063), Guildford & Aldershot (430) and both Leeds and Bristol with 353.

Concluding that Britain has a rich, and diverse spread of creative marketing businesses, Cas Paton, managing director of, says: “It is so encouraging to see a diverse range of cities being named as specialist hotpots within the creative industries. With London always being at the top of most people’s lists for the place to live and work in order to be the best of the best, it is important to illustrate the vast growth in specialisation across England. Oxford currently having the highest growth in terms of GVA is an excellent example of this, paving the way for creative industries to help close the UK’s productivity gap.”


Creative Nation uses official, open and web data to map the creative industries in the UK. Employment, businesses and growth figures are based on data from the Interdepartmental Business Register, and the GVA statistics draw on Annual Business Survey data. Research data has been obtained from the Gateway to Research, and Networking data comes from

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