THE number of jobs in creative industries has risen three times faster in West Yorkshire than the rest of the country.

In the past 12 months there was a 17 per cent rise in the number of jobs in the cultural and creative industry advertised in West Yorkshire.

This is three times the average rise seen nationally (six per cent) since the industry began its recovery from the pandemic.

In total, 48,000 creative, cultural, and sports roles were advertised in West Yorkshire in this period.

The figures came as West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) agreed to invest over £1,734,000 in a scheme called ‘You Can Make it Here’ – which will encourage more creative businesses to invest in the region.

Recent years have seen Channel 4 opening up a base in Leeds, and Bradford being awarded City of Culture for 2025.

The ‘You Can Make it Here’ support package was approved at the last meeting of WYCA, where members were told the scheme would support people into the region’s growing creative industries, upskilling them through a bespoke range of initiatives, including training accelerators and mentorships.

It will also support freelancers, and make sure “creative industries, heritage, and sports sectors view West Yorkshire as a desirable place to locate”.

Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin said at the meeting the figures showed that “our focus on boosting creative industries has translated into jobs”.

She added: “Our creative industries are booming with thousands of job opportunities for people across the region and this investment will give everyone a chance to get the skills they need to do a well paid job that they love.

“The support we’re providing is key to creating a greater, more diverse pool of talent and opportunities to help drive further growth and innovation throughout the sector.

“It’s going to help us to build a stronger, brighter West Yorkshire that will make a real difference to the lives of people in our communities and beyond.”

One of the schemes being funded will be an extension of support for the Mayor’s Screen Diversity programme. Delivered by Screen Yorkshire, it aims to increase opportunities in the screen industries by providing training and work placements for young people in under-represented groups. Of the last cohort, 43 per cent identified as disabled and 38 per cent were from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Last month the Trade Unions Council Humber and West Yorkshire gave a presentation to the Combined Authority, calling for increased public investment in the arts.