Publishing: the Greater Cambridge story
By Anthony Haynes
Tags: academic publishing, and technological publishing, creative cluster, creative economy, creative industries, creative region, digital publishing, engineering, Greater Cambridge, publishing networks, publishing services, scholarly publishing, scientific, STEM publishing, STM publishing
We’re based in a region that is becoming known as Greater Cambridge (see www.gcp.uk.net). And it is a great place to be: the local economy is strong, especially in industries based on intellectual property. Silicon Fen is a global success story.
On an altogether smaller scale, publishing in Greater Cambridge is showing signs of becoming another successful creative cluster. The industry here has been dominated for a long time by Cambridge University Press (CUP), supplemented by smaller academic presses such as Polity and James Clarke. That is still the case.
But there is more to publishing in Greater Cambridge than this. Notable developments include:
1. The growth of SET (scientific, engineering, and technological) publishing. For example: Woodhead Publishing; Cambridge International Science Publishing (CISP).
2. The growth of ‘services’ companies – usually not publishers in their own right, but offering a mix of services to publishing companies. For example, The Running Head, Cambridge Publishing Management (CPM), Small Print, First Edition Translations, Cambridge Editorial Partnership, Book Production Consultants.
3. Early adoption of electronic publishing, not least because ProQuest’s UK office is located in Cambridge.
I don’t think the development of this cluster has been fully appreciated. In part this is because it isn’t all based in the city itself – it is indeed a Greater Cambridge development and so less easy to spot. Some of the companies I’ve mentioned above are located in villages around Cambridge. For example, Woodhead and CISP are in Great Abington, CPM in Caldecote, and Small Print are in Swavesey. And there are others – for example, Salt are in Fulbourn and our own company is located near Newmarket.
One sign that the industry is developing critical mass in the region is the development of networks. There is the Publishing in Cambridge Association (PICA) – a dining club that unfortunately meets only infrequently – and Camedia (which re-enforces links between publishing and new media). And there is also CAMPUS, based in Anglia Ruskin University (which offers a Publishing Studies course and has a strong foothold in the creative industries). Any publishing company setting up in Greater Cambridge will find a there is an infrastructure in place.
Publishing in Greater Cambridge has been taxi-ing out towards the runway for some time and now may be nearing take-off. Whether or not I’m right about that, the cluster of creative talents in the region certainly helps to build confidence.