The irony is, of course, is that this combination only exists in the little pockets that have remained untouched by the dead hand of Planned Development - old machine shops and assembly plants deserted by industry, the scruffy bits of graffiti-scarred rough common brick and asbestos-cement roofed clutter at the back of council estates unsuited for residential conversion. A whole roomful of economic development officers, town planners, architects and commercial developers can no more create a creative district than they can populate a bijou shopping parade on demand with an organic fish merchant selling grilled sardines, an independent coffee shop and a hipster designer-porridge outlet.
Simon Jenkins in the Guardian is smart enough to know this. Writing about social-engineering plans to distribute the New Illiberalism that characterises Channel 4 to an area of Britain other than London he writes
There is nothing more gauche than Whitehall “being nice” to the provinces. Its attempt to force Channel 4 to move north from London has felt akin to the Victorian church sending missionaries overseas to civilise the heathen. As austerity descends over museums and theatres across the land, the culture department wants to dispatch a few television executives to live among the natives, to introduce them to kale, quinoa and turmeric lattes. That should cheer them up. Whitehall also seems to want to have some fun. No one has instructed Channel 4 where to go. Instead, the provincial cities are told they must line up like children in a workhouse and beg. London will decide who gets the smashed avocado. There will be two consolation “creative hubs” for the runners-up, wherever the judges can find something approximating Shoreditch High Street.Still, we should all support this. If only for the chance to seriously piss-off the sanctimonious bigots at the TV station forced to uproot from Blackheath to Burnley or wherever. The more we can disperse these destructive zealots amongst ordinary folk and dilute their malignant influence, the better.