Bristol has long been seen as a place that excels in the digital, aerospace and creative industries. Whilst popular exports Wallace and Gromit and Concorde are proof of the city’s expertise in two of these areas, new data released has now given solid support behind the notion that Bristol is also a leading light in the creative sector.

The Bristol Research Network has revealed that in 2013 Bristol had the strongest creative industries sector of any large urban area in England, excluding London. At 12.7%, it has the largest proportion of Creative Industries Business Units of any core city in the country, with Manchester the closest behind at 9.6%. The report also goes on to state that between 2011 and 2013 the TV Production subsector grew twice as fast in Bristol (15.8%) as it did in London. The full report can be viewed by clicking here.

The good news for the Creative Industries didn’t stop there however, as Bristol Media’s annual barometer revealed several more reasons for businesses in the sector to be cheerful. All the members of Bristol Media and Creative Bath were surveyed, with hundreds of responses received to the 20+ detailed questions. The key figures included:

– 62% of businesses reported an increase in turnover over the last 12 months
– 63% reported an increase in profits over the same period
– 93% are as confident or more confident about their business prospects than at the same point last year
– just 4% of companies are likely to employ less employees over the next year.

You can view the results in their entirety by clicking here.

Elsewhere, two companies based in Engine Shed officially launched last week. Wriggle is an app that gives users exclusive on-the-day deals for popular bars and restaurants in Bristol that occasionally need spaces filling up at the last minute. After running the service through their email subscriber list and social media in the first few months of 2014, the app went live on May 7th.

And a few days earlier, crowdfunding platform Fundsurfer held its official launch event at Engine Shed. At present it offers rewards and donations based crowdfunding, in-line with most of its competitors, however the company plans to expand into crowd-lending and equity-based crowdfunding later in 2014, which would make it the first hybrid platform of its kind in Bristol.

We also sent out May’s BTQEZ Newsletter at the start of the month, with news of £7m funding for Bristol’s European Green Capital year, Creative England’s funding scheme for SMEs in the South West as well as details of all of the latest events within the zone. You can view the newsletter by clicking here and you can subscribe by clicking here.