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Exploring creative economies in West Bengal and Thailand

Thai Creative Hub delegates
Thai Creative Hub delegates

How can creative enterprises emerge, flourish and contribute to the economy? Network is Queen Mary’s Centre for Creative & Cultural Economy. The British Council recently funded supported projects to assess the extent and value of creative economy projects in Thailand and West Bengal

The challenge

West Bengal

How can quality of life for artists, artisans and craftspeople be enhanced? Network set out to establish the economic worth of the Creative Industries that function around the Durga Puja festival in West Bengal, with the aim of documenting baseline evidence of the livelihood generation opportunities across a cross-section of society.


Creative Hubs in Thailand needed help to assess their own strengths, weaknesses, impacts, and opportunities and to do so within the overall framework of the British Council’s ‘Creative Hubs as a Catalyst for Good’ programme.

How did we collaborate with our partners?

West Bengal

Network supports the growth of a strong, sustainable and socially inclusive creative economy and is collaborating with the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, West Bengal, on a consultancy project funded by the British Council (India) in partnership with the Department of Tourism of the Government of West Bengal.

A display at the Durga Puja FestivalThey undertook research on the Durga Puja festival to identify the potential opportunities to enhance and improve the quality of life of the creatives who engage with the festival. They needed to gather evidence about the flow and number of visitors to West Bengal, both domestic and international, around the time of the festival.

They sought to document case studies around the lives of artists, artisans and craftspeople with a focus on gender and inclusion.

The five economic sectors surveyed and mapped were:

  • Installation Art, Idols, and Illuminations
  • Retail
  • Advertising and Communications
  • Rural and home crafts
  • Tourism


The Director and the Deputy-Director of Network recently visited Bangkok to explore the development of a self-assessment framework for Creative Hubs in Thailand. Morag and Tarek were able to visit diverse Creative Hubs and to talk in depth to their managers and members about what challenges they faced and how they would wish to see their Hubs develop in the future.

The outcome

West Bengal

Qualitative and quantitative research was gathered, and a conference will be held to explore the cultural, social and economic impacts of Festivals.


The week culminated in a workshop involving 20 representatives of Creative Hubs, whose aim was to ensure that the self-assessment framework would respond to their most pressing needs.

Consultancy and contract research

Consultancy and Contract Research Manager: Andrew Shaw

Email Andrew Shaw
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