Creative Front Futures

The halls of Cambridge Junction radiated creativity yesterday (26th March) as hundreds of talented youngsters met with leaders of Cambridgeshire’s creative businesses at Creative Front Futures.  The sell-out event was staged to encourage young people to use their creative talents and choose career paths that will help them pursue their dreams.

An impressive cast of creative business leaders, headed by Wayne Hemingway MBE, co-founder of the Red or Dead fashion label and now owner of HemingwayDesign, set about inspiring delegates with stories of entrepreneurial success and their contribution towards the creative industry, which now employs over 2 million people in the UK.

Clare Green, Manager at Creative Front Cambridgeshire based at Anglia Ruskin University, said: “It is really exciting to be able to give our creative students the chance to mix with successful people from across the whole industry, while demonstrating the true vibrant breadth and depth of Cambridgeshire’s creative hub.

”In a colourful presentation that inspired delegates with a career journey from Camden market to the heady heights of international catwalks with Red or Dead, and then more recently to housing design, Wayne Hemingway stressed that the creative and cultural sector generates £70,000 for the UK economy every minute.  He said: “Finally the value of the creative industry is receiving the recognition it deserves, worth a huge £71 billion it is now bigger than the manufacturing industry and is following hot on the heels of the UK’s largest industry, the services sector.”

“Last year it created 144,000 jobs, so there are some amazing opportunities for creatives out there and, unlike when I began my career, it’s an industry that is well regarded and on the radar.

”Sharing some of the things he has learnt during his career, Wayne said: “In business it’s important to like people and get on with people, you must work out what your philosophy is and make sure it’s behind everything.  You also need to work out what gives you your raison d’etre.

”Wayne wrapped up his presentation by saying: “Creative people get life, you can take your creative mind with you anywhere and, with it, you can do anything.”

Taffy and Kelly, both graphic design students at Anglia Ruskin University visited Creative Front Futures to get first hand advice and guidance from people in the industry.  Taffy said: “It’s great to have the opportunity to actually meet people who have been in our position and have worked their way up within the industry.  It’s a really informal, relaxed environment, which means we get more personal, tailored advice than we would in another setting.

”Speaking from a business perspective, Alessandra Caggiano, Managing Director of e-Luminate Cambridge Festival, added: “As a start-up company, we were keen to exhibit at Creative Front Futures to encourage students to volunteer to work with us. Our Festival brings together visual art and clean technology to shed light on low carbon innovation, and Creative Front Futures presented a great opportunity for collaboration with students and other like-minded companies in Cambridgeshire.

”There is a wealth of advice for creative entrepreneurs and young people wanting to break into the industry on the Creative Front Futures website at  There are hints and tips for graduates, guidance on starting up a creative business, inspirational articles from Cambridge’s creative business leaders, advice on marketing, finance and budgeting, business law, and much more.

Creative Front Cambridgeshire is on Twitter at @creativefront; on Facebook; and on Instagram @creativefront.Creative Front Cambridgeshire is Anglia Ruskin University’s creative industries network which helps to connect talent with the diverse range of creative businesses within Cambridge. The Creative Front Futures event is just one of the ways that Anglia Ruskin University with the help of VIVID (Value Increased by Visual Design), funded under the European Interreg IV A Programme “2 Mers Seas Zeeën”, is supporting its students and graduates find work in the region’s dynamic creative sector.

For budding games creators, the four day Brains Eden 2014 Gaming Festival starts on 4th July, and will include a 48 hour games jam over the weekend culminating in an awards ceremony and celebration.  The event, hosted by Anglia Ruskin University, is designed to connect games developers with young games creators and offers a unique opportunity for delegates to speak directly to studio directors about their portfolios and skills at the Brains Eden Careers Clinic.