Coventry University calls out to “Creative Freelancers” to contribute to key research study on business models and place-based growth


Creative United is excited to announce its partnership alongside Coventry City of Culture Trust, Northumberland County Council, Waltham Forest Borough Council and Warwick Institute of Employment Research, contributing to important research into the crucial contribution of freelancers to the creative industries. The research is being led by Coventry University and has been commissioned by the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC).

Today’s announcement marks the launch of a call for anyone that identifies as a ‘Creative Freelancer’ – providing services in any part of the arts and creative industries – and who is living and/or working in three locations across the UK, to come forward as potential subjects for in-depth interviews.

The study will focus on three specific locations:

  1. The London Borough of Waltham Forest (London Borough of Culture 2019);
  2. Coventry City (City of Culture 2021); and
  3. The County of Northumberland

As a first step, creative freelancers living and/or working in these three localities are being invited to complete a two-minute survey which can be accessed via this link:

The study will generate new insights into the business models of creative freelancers and their relationship to local labour markets, creative networks, supply chains and innovation ecosystems – as well as identifying the challenges that they face. By gaining a better understanding of the creative freelance workforce, the sector can be best placed to assess sector-specific needs as we enter a post-COVID world.

Mary-Alice Stack, Chief Executive of Creative United said: 

“Freelance workers are and have always been the beating heart of the UK’s thriving arts and creative industries. As an organisation that is committed to supporting the growth and development of this sector, we are acutely aware of the evidence gaps that mean this population of uniquely skilled and talented individuals is often overlooked and under-supported. 

With the help of our partners and the freelance community itself, we are determined to take steps now to address this issue by documenting the business models adopted by creative freelancers so that their particular way of working and economic contribution can be properly understood and appreciated as an essential part of our creative economy.”