Creative and digital

Creative and digital

Local economic impact




  • Creative sector employs 32,571 people
  • Creative businesses contribute $8.2 billion
  • 24,674 people work in the ICT industry
  • ICT is the third largest business sector

Be part of Creative Sydney

The City’s first-ever draft cultural policy Creative City, outlines our priorities and commitment to arts and culture in Sydney over the next 10 years.

The policy is now on public exhibition and we’d like your feedback.

We began developing a cultural policy in 2012. Our discussion paper and extensive community consultation process resulted in more than 2,000 pieces of feedback from residents, businesses, artists and interested organisations.

This feedback formed the basis of Creative City – a blueprint to ensure that culture and creativity can play a central part in Sydney life.

The policy highlights the importance of culture to community identity, the need to ensure everyone can access our cultural life and the unique central value of our Aboriginal culture.

These principles guide 6 priority areas for action:

  • precinct distinctiveness and creativity in the public domain
  • new avenues for creative participation
  • sector sustainability
  • improving access and creating markets
  • sharing knowledge
  • global engagement. 

We've developed 120 ideas to optimise Sydney's creative potential that recognise the significant and growing contribution of cultural and creative industries to Sydney's economy.

They bring together artists, business and institutions, and seek to increase cooperation and partnerships with the private sector.

City Business logo

We look to:

  • Invite businesses, retailers and property developers to make more than 1.6 million square metres of empty commercial and residential space available to artists for creative activities.
  • Explore a cooperative housing project for artists and creative practitioners.
  • Work with commercial developers to incorporate creative work spaces in new developments.
  • Develop creative projects with business such as artwork commissions on building site hoardings.
  • Further develop our local village economies.
  • Expand Art & About into a year-round program, prioritising partnerships with business.
  • Encourage the private sector to integrate innovative public art in the public domain.
  • Support for-profit cultural businesses including music stores, dance academies, restaurants and bars.
  • Develop partnerships with key business, cultural institutions and/or tertiary education partners to provide more creative skill development opportunities for the public.
Are our ideas relevant to your business? Find out more about Creative Sydney and tell us what you think. We'll use your feedback to finalise the policy.

Supporting innovation

The importance of the City's creative industries and digital economy is increasingly being recognised for its contribution to a vibrant and diverse city that embraces culture and recreation.

The creative economy and the digital economy are transforming how we work, live and play demonstrated by the size and growth of these important industries within the City of Sydney.

The creative economy

Creative industries include architecture, advertising, design, gaming, broadcasting, music, performing and visual arts, writing and publishing, interactive content and software development.

Businesses within the creative sector contributed a 9% share of the City's economy in 2012 and its current growth rate of 3.4% makes it the fastest growing sector, which is expected in 2030 to account for $14.9 billion.

It is currently the second largest sector within the City representing 8.3% of people employed and there is a higher concentration of creative businesses found in the City than across NSW. Since the 2006 census it has increased by 22% with 5,911 more employees.

The digital economy

Information, communications and technology (ICT) experienced the biggest sector growth in the City since the 2006 census, increasing 23% with 4,557 more people now working in the industry.

It represents 6% of the City's total workforce making it the third largest industry generating about 11% of economic impact across the local area and with an expected 2% increase in industry share will increase its position as a core economic component in 2030 at 13%.

Sydney is the base in Australia for globally connected companies and traditional media. Sydney is home to National Information and Communications Technology Australia (NICTA), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's (CISRO) ICT Centre as well as 5 national centres of excellence and 2 cooperative research centres.

Working together

A dynamic and strong digital economy is essential to drive economic growth in Sydney. The need to share success stories and send the message that Sydney is an innovative city is important. We work to generate positive media coverage and continue to coordinate major events focused on internet, innovation and creativity at our City Talks.

The City has worked with numerous businesses to introduce them to potential partners and customers, collaborating with key partners to develop these important industry sectors including:

Program snapshots

Creative commercial events

Major creative events create opportunities for community and business participation on a broad scale contributing to our economy and cultural life, which the City supports through our commercial creative events sponsorship program.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia is the nation's largest fashion industry event delivering over $300 million in media value and $120 million in business revenue each year.

The longstanding Sydney event is positioned alongside global counterparts New York, Miami, Berlin and Tokyo, reinforcing Sydney's status as the fashion capital of Australia.

It is held at Carriageworks, Redfern attracting over 30,000 and 1,000 international buyers, photographers, media and key industry personnel who stay, dine and visit key Sydney sites.

An estimated $2.3 million is spent on operational, marketing, support and production each year that benefits local buinesses and delivers significant tourism benefits to Sydney each year.

Affordable rent for creatives

The City's creative spaces project aims to provide affordable rent for creative enterprises such as business cooperatives and start-ups.

At 66 Oxford Street, Darlingurst, one of largest City properties, Creative Spaces currently houses Engineroom, a co-working space of entrepreneurs and tech start-up businesses.

The William Street creative hub opened in mid-2013 providing 500 square metres of affordable work space for creative co-share organisations in East Sydney.

Going forward

The City is investigating how we can further support creative and digital industries with a number of pilot projects underway.

Our focus is on creative enterprises as well as new, innovative businesses that are using technology designed for fast growth such as technology start-ups.

Links

City Talks Digital Economy Industry Action Plan DigitalSydney.com Creative Industries Innovation Centre CeBIT Australia Commercial creative events sponsorship program Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Creative Spaces Creative hubs

Contacts

City of Sydney02 9265 9333

Last updated: Wednesday, 4 June 2014