The Fifth Sector was formed in 2011 by Iain Bennett. Iain is a creative industries and digital economy consultant with 25 years’ senior management experience in private and public sectors.
His work emphasises the leading role of creative industries and the digital economy in the renewal and growth of places, spaces and economies across the world.
He worked for twelve years as an agent for actors and directors at agencies including William Morris and ICM before going on to found a number of things: a digital design agency, a digital media incubator called Accelerator at London Metropolitan University, and Creative Lancashire, an economic development agency for the cultural and creative sector.
As Sector Leader for Digital & Creative Industries at Northwest Regional Development Agency (2006-11), he wrote a regional strategy for the sector and managed a series of skills and infrastructure programmes to support the £1 billion development of MediaCityUK in Salford and the BBC’s relocation of 6 departments and 3,000 staff. From 2012-14 he was project manager for the Department for Culture, Media & Sport’s £150m Superconnected Cities programme, directing Government investment in bandwidth for businesses in London, Birmingham, Brighton & Hove, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Manchester and Salford.
He became an Associate Director of BOP Consulting in 2014, since when he has carried out over 20 assignments including: an evaluation of the Arts & Humanities Research Council-funded Creativeworks London Knowledge Exchange Hub; writing the Creative Industries strategy for UKTI (now the Department for International Trade) and designing a framework for the evaluation of Sharing Cities worldwide for Nesta.
He is currently advising Festivals Edinburgh on International Best Practice in Digital Festivals Technology; devising a strategy for growth of the video games industry in Coventry & Warwickshire; and leading a feasibility study and action plan for the development of the fashion sector in East London for Greater London Authority and London College of Fashion.
Iain has an MA in English from St Catherine’s College, Cambridge and an MBA from London Metropolitan University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.