The Creative State North West — News & Events

Brokering Creative Advantage; key findings from the 4CNW Programme

20 August 2014 — OpportunitiesIrelandNorthern IrelandScotlandEurope

As we bring the Creative State North West 4CNW programme to a close, we are delighted to publish two key reports; the final report Brokering Creative Advantage and the Independent Evaluation Report.




Brokering Creative Advantage is the final report on the outcomes of the pilot 4CNW Programme, carried out by Sligo County Council during 2012 and 2013.It summarises the benefits and impact of the project and captures the lessons learned, key issues and challenges that have arisen, and proposes a framework and recommendations for future action.




The Independent Evaluation of the programme found that it has demonstrated the merits of what creative input can give to business in terms of value, changed thinking, opening mindsets towards implementing new approaches to problems and thereby enhancing capacity competitiveness and innovation in industry. Therefore there is strong merit in the continuation and expansion of 4CNW actions.

Key findings include;

• The operation of 4CNW demonstrated a huge latent capacity for the application of creative services and input across business sectors. It showed a lack of capacity for businesses to define their creative needs and a lack of awareness of the depth of creative talent available in their local region. It provides evidence of the need for capacity building mechanisms to grow knowledge and awareness within industry as to the value of creative services.

• The application of the talent voucher fund allowed the value of creative services to be showcased and demonstrated. It created new avenues to markets and clients for creative industries while developing new solutions for participating business.

• The holistic, bespoke business supports offered by 4CNW provided a co-ordinated and targeted response, towards stimulating new markets, enhancing competitiveness and innovation among many small firms across a range of enterprise sectors.

Both the Independent Evaluation and this follow-up significant report strongly suggests there is merit in the continuation of the process of bringing together the skills of both the business and the creative sectors in the periphery regions and in elevating the process from a regional to a national level.

Both reports illustrate that the brokering of creativity clearly creates better business advantage.

Next Steps
4CNW was a two-year pilot programme, but as you will see on page 83 of the report, we met with the Minister for Small Business and officials in the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in 2013 in order to define and position the 4CNW programme. We also consulted extensively with a number of national government departments and key enterprise and cultural agencies. The purpose was to highlight the potential of this programme and initiatives of its type as a driver for business innovation and change. As part of this process the 4CNW report will be disseminated widely to relevant parties at regional, national and transnational levels and to the European Commission over the coming weeks.

ECIA Policy Findings
4CNW has also been selected by ECIA as a model of good practice and will feature as a case study in its final report, which will be launched at the closing conference of the European Creative Industries Alliance, November 27-28, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The conference will provide a platform to further showcase the innovative approach to cross-sectoral understanding promoted by 4CNW to a wider audience and in particular to those agencies with responsibility for developing policy in this area.

We want to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest and involvement with the programme to date, and hope that you will find the reports of interest. If you do, please share them!

All our thanks from the 4CNW project team (l-r below); Devona Finnegan, Aisling Smyth, Aoife Flynn and Programme Director Mary McAuliffe.

Brokering Creative Advantage; key findings from the 4CNW Programme




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4CNW Directory is Live

19 June 2013 — OpportunitiesIrelandNorthern IrelandScotlandEurope

The Creative Directory is now live. Profiling over 180 Creative Suppliers from Ireland North West, Northern Ireland and Scotland you can browse the Directory by location, creative service or company name. 

You can access it on desktop here:

or if you are on a mobile device you can acess it at Where you can tap to add it to your homescreen as a directory app. 



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4CNW Creative Directory launch

10 June 2013 — EventsIreland


4CNW Creative Directory launch

We're delighted to announce that the 4CNW Creative Directory will be launched by Ireland’s Minister for Small Business, John Perry TD, at 2pm on Monday 17th June in Sligo, Ireland. 

The 4CNW Creative Directory is a dynamic, interactive tool for web and mobile. A unique European service innovation, the Directory will increase creative industries access to the wider business environment and the European marketplace, by profiling 180 creative businesses from across Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The creative businesses listed on the directory will be filterable by location, name and and type of service allowing creatives to search for fellow creative businesses in their local area to form partnerships or share knowledge, while also allowing them to be found by local businesses who are searching for a particular creative service, such as photography, film making, graphic design, architecture or sculpture to name but a few. 

Hosted by Conall Ó Moráin (Today FM, Sunday Business Show) the event will include a keynote address from Rasmus Wiinstedt Tscherning; Managing Director, Centre for Cultural and Experience Economy, Denmark and Chair of the EC European Creative Industries Alliance (ECIA) and an interview with one of Ireland’s best known Fashion Designers; Helen McAlinden with Joe Queenan from Foxford Wollen Mills to discuss the importance of creativity and innovation in business growth.

This is a free event. If you would like to attend on the day please email Ceolin Devaney to secure your place and receive a full schedule for the event. 




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Brokering Creative Advantage; key findings from the 4CNW Programme