University of Cumbria celebrated for contributing to the UK’s creative excellence

University of Cumbria celebrated for contributing to the UK’s creative excellence name
  • Two students from the University of Cumbria have been nominated as one of more than 100 'Creative Sparks' from UK universities
  • The nomination comes as new research shows strong parental support for university creative courses

Paul Bacon and Nathan Buckley, two alumni from the University of Cumbria, have been recognised as two of the UK’s greatest creative hits, alongside BAFTA-winning film writers, award-winning children’s authors, and global rockstars.

The Wildlife Media graduates secured a once in the life time chance to help film the last instalment of BBC 4 documentary ‘Life of a Mountain’ with revered lakes film maker, Terry Abraham. They have been nominated as one of more than 100 'Creative Sparks' from UK universities who are being honoured to showcase the importance of the creative industries and to celebrate the immense contribution of UK universities to the sector.

The nomination comes as new research conducted by Savanta ComRes for Universities UK shows that UK parents are strongly in favour of university creative courses, with more than two thirds (69 per cent) saying that creative courses are vital for powering the UK’s creative industries and nearly two thirds (65 per cent) saying that they benefit the UK economy.

But there are fears that this contribution could now be under threat, with two thirds (67 per cent) of UK parents acknowledging that creative industries have suffered greatly as a result of the pandemic.

In response, Universities UK has launched the Creative Sparks #MadeAtUni campaign to showcase the creativity found at UK universities like the University of Cumbria and to encourage the government to promote and support the importance of creativity and creative courses.

Colette Conroy, Director Institute of the Arts, at the University of Cumbria said: “We are very proud that Paul and Nathan have been recognised as part of this campaign. They are just one example of how our university is helping to produce the much-needed talent, innovation, and skills required for the UK’s creative industries to prosper and for the nation to recover post-pandemic.”

Alistair Jarvis CBE, Chief Executive, Universities UK said: “Universities are places where creative ideas flourish, where innovation happens, and where businesses employing thousands of people are started. They’re where the nation’s creative sparks are ignited.”

Other 'Creative Sparks' include:

  • Greg Davies – Brunel University alumni, comedian and actor
  • Keith Chapman – Norwich University of the Arts alumni, creator of Bob the Builder and PAW Patrol
  • Cressida Cowell MBE – University of Oxford alumni, author of How to Train Your Dragon
  • Laura Mvula – Birmingham City University alumni, musician
  • Roger Waters and Nick Mason, Pink Floyd – University of Westminster alumni, musicians
  • Ruth Wilson – University of Nottingham alumni, actress best known for The Affair, Luther, His Dark Materials, and Mrs Wilson
  • Nish Kumar – Durham University alumni, comedian and presenter
  • Krysty Wilson-Cairns – Royal Conservatoire of Scotland alumni, co-writer of BAFTA winning movie 1917
  • Lisa McGee – Queens University Belfast alumni, screenwriter of Derry Girls
  • Steven Knight – UCL alumni, writer and creator of BBC Two’s Peaky Blinder

    The university believes that creativity is a career that pays. The Institute of Arts at the University of Cumbria features in a new campaign called ‘Creativity Pays’ where they demonstrate how the institute can kickstart creative careers and dispel myths that creative careers do not pay well.  

    You can find out more about the UK’s Creative Sparks here. You can also follow the campaign on Twitter and Facebook.

    Click here to read the full list of Creative Sparks, or here to watch the campaign video, voiced by Greg James. You can even play the online game to see which “Creative Spark” you are here.