In her speech at Creative England’s second anniversary celebration, chief executive Caroline Norbury said talented creatives across the country need support to drive the creative industries’ economic contributions.

Speaking at the party, Norbury delivered this speech:

Creative people and businesses in the UK generate £70,000 every minute and are an important driver of economic growth and job creation.

Creativity, storytelling and innovative technology has the potential to revolutionise every aspect of our lives and to change how we are viewed by the world. A thriving creative industry also helps cities and regions re-enforce their own distinctive identities; it enriches the cultural life of the country; it inspires young people who want to make something of their lives; and its creative energy spills over into other areas of the economy.

However in order to really make a difference we must work together to ensure that we build on the potential that exists everywhere, but which I believe is in danger of being wasted. According to the Office of National Statistics, nearly half of all growth in our country is generated by a quarter of the population. This reflects not just a shocking disparity but more importantly it means we are facing a massive lost opportunity. This country has thrived in the past because it is diverse; it creates stories and products that travel because of its distinct local traditions, cultures and sensibilities.

Creative England is already working to provide the connections and catalysts that uncover the most talented people and link them to those who can help them to flourish and grow. We’re doing this because it creates jobs and grows the economy. But also because it allows people to live where they choose. Andrew Ko, CEO and founder of Moment.Us, who Creative England has invested in and supported, is one such example.

Originally from Canada, Andrew came to Manchester 3 years ago, via Toronto, for his PhD at the Manchester Business School. Moment.Us helps brands try to understand their customers by harnessing the power of context (emotion, mood, time, location, weather, music and images) to create applications that drive real customer engagement. He and his colleagues are committed to making Manchester a top 5 Start-Up destination in the near future and want to play their part in making that happen.

By looking outside of the M25 to find and nurture creative people, and with more balanced investment across England, the creative industries can truly be the economic engine for the UK. But in order to do this we need a focused industrial approach to the creative industries - just as we have for other crucial sectors of the economy such as aerospace and construction.

Two years in Creative England is already providing the access to money, markets and people that even the most talented individuals need in order to reach their full commercial and creative potential. This week we are holding a two-day event in partnership with Google, Arts Council England and Culture 24, which brings together the financial community, government, and creative industries to explore new models for investment. Over two days of intensive sessions, working with over 100 creative businesses from across England, we will help them develop their business skills and make a strong case for investment in their businesses.

We are testing new models of partnership, funding and support and importantly we are learning from those businesses what it is they really need to succeed. We have already awarded over £2.5 million to 63 companies, resulting in the creation and safeguarding of over 130 jobs. But at two years old we are only just getting started. Working closely Government, our national and local partnerships and, importantly, by speaking directly to filmmakers, games developers, creative entrepreneurs and the wealth of talented people across England we hope we will continue to make a real difference.

Creative England also launched this animation to highlight some of its recent work.

For a slideshow from the party, click here.