This paper takes the establishment and demise of Manchester’s Creative Industries Development Service as an exemplary case study for the ways in which creative industry policy has intersected with urban economic policy over the last decade. It argues that the creative industries required specific kinds of economic development agencies which would be able to act as ‘intermediary’ between the distinct languages of policy makers and ‘creatives’. The paper discusses the tensions inherent in such an approach and how CIDS attempted to manage them. It suggests that the main reason for the demise of the CIDS was the domination of the ‘economic’ over the ‘cultural logic,’ both of which are present within the creative industries policy discourse.
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