The role of cultural regeneration as means of social and economic development has been a widely investigated yet controversial topic. This paper focuses on a specific research question within the wider literature in the field: what is the relationship between regeneration, in particular flagships cultural projects, and the creative industries?
Part of the argument behind cultural regeneration and public investment in flagship buildings and new cultural institutions in Europe is that they will foster the economic development of the city, not only in terms of tourism development but also supporting the growth of the creative industries. Nevertheless, little research has addressed what are the real dynamics linking public investments in culture and regeneration and the potential development of local creative industries. Somehow, this connection has been taken for granted and in many policy document there is the assumption that flagship investments and regeneration will encourage and support local creative industries.
The paper presents the result of a 2 year fieldwork undertaken in the context of Newcastle-Gateshead and the North-East region of England. The paper presents the result of the interviews conducted with local creative and cultural producers and highlights the weak connection between local practitioners and local cultural flagship developments in the region. Finally it calls for reconsideration by public policy of the importance of reconnecting creative industries and cultural regeneration to explore the real potential of this relationship.