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Jodie Wick

The infrastructural support requirements for the animation industry in the East of England

This research is based on the need for accurate data to inform the development of effective policy for the subsector of animation in the East of England, inclusive of local clusters. The work is in effect a case study intended to produce two main outcomes, which it is hoped will serve as much needed evidence to derive recommendations on how to better support the animation industry in the East of England. The two main outcomes will be:

  • A new data collection methodology based on the definition, conception and measurement of a subsector industry at regional and sub regional levels.
  • A case study example based on animation in the East of England.

The Eastern region, and Norwich in particular, has been pinpointed as a notable cluster for audiovisual and animation related activities (DTZ et al 2002; BOP 2003; Cox 2004 Skillset 2004, 2005).

My research asserts that there is a smaller cluster of traditional animation providers operating in this area than previously assumed, leading to a lack of regional awareness and as a result demand and support for the industry. There is also a lack of awareness and information surrounding the understanding of this cluster. My research aims to address these deficiencies before recommendations of potential policy improvements in this area might be put in place.

In the past, UK policy relating to the animation industry has been based on output (McMellon 2001; PACT 2002; Optima 2004). My research draws together and begins to build upon current ways of developing a more accurate method of measurement. The main objectives of the research are to increase the supply of information, and to more accurately understand the subsector of animation.

It has been argued that while a firm understanding of the shape of the industry on a regional level is important, it must be recognised that animation is a component part of interlocking industries where it forms an element of a process. This research seeks to better understand the shape of this industry and to investigate the associated occupational roles that reside within specialist animation industries but which may also be embedded within other related industries.

My research contends that to accurately measure and develop policy for the animation industry, the industry should no longer be artificially separated and considered as an independent business, but should be viewed through a new model of convergence within the creative media industries.

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Jodie Wick