top of page



More than 70 Stoke-on-Trent creative professionals heard world famous pottery pioneer Josiah Wedgwood speak at the first social event organised by a cluster of createch businesses in the city.


Wedgwood gave an AI-generated speech, detailing his thoughts on artificial intelligence, its uses and potential, but also its risks and limitations.


Addressing the audience made up of marketing and creative professionals at the “pingle” – an amalgam of pizza and mingle, which summed up the evening – Wedgwood outlined AI’s “ability to amplify and augment human creativity”.


He said AI had  “the remarkable power to sift through vast reservoirs of data, to discern patterns unseen by the naked eye, and to birth new and novel ideas.“

Josiah Wedgwood delivers AI-generated speech to over 70 creative professionals at social ‘pingle’

Master Potter Josiah Wedgwood – played by Ray Johnson – delivers his speech on AI.

The event was organised by the Createch Cluster of businesses in and around Stoke Town who bring a global client base to the city and between them employ around 200 people.


They have already worked together to provide and support paid summer internships and together have fed into work on filling skills gaps and transforming work experience provision to make it more meaningful for employers and young people.


Founder member Dan Waterman told the audience the cluster’s main drive was to put Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire on the map as a centre for Createch excellence.

Createch founder members Andy Jackson, left, and Dan Waterman.

6 October 2023

More than 70 people gathered for the Createch social.

Josiah Wedgwood ended his speech with a challenge, prior to the boxes opening to dish out free pizza.


He said:  “Let AI be the wellspring of your imagination, a steadfast companion on your creative odyssey, and a force that multiplies the fruits of your artistic expression manifold.


“Let the symphony of your creativity intertwine with the transformative power of AI, and together, let us shape a future of enduring inspiration.”

The event was held at the Factory Floor venue at the Potbank, Spode, in Stoke-on-Trent.

Businesses, community groups and individuals have stepped up to the plate by tackling litter and improving community spaces as part of #LoveSOT fortnight.

Last month, Daily Focus backed Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s campaign to encourage people to take pride in the city by issuing a rallying call encouraging organisations to volunteer to plant, paint, decorate, mow, clean and litter pick.

Many took up the mantle and from September 18 to 22 they set about tackling rubbish and sprucing up local surroundings.

Organisations that took part included Port Vale FCStoke City FCMiddleport MattersProject Indi, The Haji Bashir Ahmed Foundation, Epic HousingStoke-on-Trent Live and The Sentinel and leading logistics company Simarco International Ltd.

Creative content agency i-creation – who partner with Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce to produce Daily Focus – also carried out a litter pick around its office at Spode as well as in Stoke town centre.

Businesses praised as they join big clean-up campaign and show love for Stoke-on-Trent

Staff from creative agency i-creation picked litter around the Spode site and Stoke town centre as part of #LoveSOT fortnight. Photo: Chris Peach/i-creation.

Meanwhile, Handelsbanken, based at Festival Park, extended their regular litter pick to the wider area.


All firms involved have pledged to carry on the good work with future litter picks.  

The successful initiative coincided with news that the City Council has now tackled more than 2,100 illegal dumping incidents since launching the clean-up effort on 20 June.


The week was also part of the wider #LoveSOT fortnight, which ran from 11 to 25 September. During this time individuals and community groups also rolled up their sleeves to tackle grot spots in the city.


That included in Abbey Hulton, where a councillor and resident-led litter pick took place. Over in Goldenhill and Sandyford, resident Julie Cooper pledged to do a litter pick every day in September. 

Handelsbanken staff getting involved with #LoveSOT fortnight.

27 September 2023

Bags of rubbish collected in Goldenhill and Sandyford.

Daily Focus issued a rallying call for businesses to get involved in #LoveSOT fortnight as part of an initiative with Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce. Photo: Chris Peach/i-creation.

Councillor Amjid Wazir, cabinet member for environment and enforcement, said: “I have been very impressed with the love shown by residents, community groups, and businesses during our #LoveSOT fortnight. 


“We want this momentum to continue and more pledges of support to help keep the city we call home, clean and clear of rubbish. 


“Thank you to everyone who picked up a bin bag and got litter picking. We want everyone to be part of the solution, not the pollution. 


“As of Sunday, 17 September we were at 2,103 of cleared illegally dumping incidents. The work will continue at the pace we have set and the progress will allow for teams to be proactive as well as reactive.”


The campaign continues so to find out how to get involved visit

Award-winning creative agency i-creation has added another national title to its trophy cabinet with a win at the UK’s leading community rail awards. 

The Stoke-on-Trent agency’s “Travel with the Green Team” campaign of animations, printed learning resources and school webinars scooped the award for Influencing Positive Change and Sustainability at the Community Rail Network’s ceremony in Cardiff. 

The campaign introduces cartoon character Daffnee Green who leads 7 to 11-year-old pupils through a journey to the beach while showing the green credentials of travelling by train, using electric vehicles instead of diesel or petrol, cycling, walking and recycling. 

A printed education pack contains lots of activities to support learning sessions, a webinar broadcast live to thousands of schools allowed children to quiz Daffnee in a fun Q&A session, and the first 10,000 children to take part received a branded “Travel with the Green Team” pencil which they could plant to grow an herb garden once they’d used it up.

Stoke-on-Trent creative agency scoops national award for imaginative cartoon character-led sustainability campaign

i-creation’s Andy Jackson, centre, with CrossCountry Stakeholder Liaison Manager Alex Bray and Community Rail Education Development Officer Karen Bennett at the launch of the Travel with the Green Team campaign at the National Railway Museum, York.

Judges who decided Daffnee was a winner said: “This project has a very clear focus, produced interesting, and valuable written and social media materials and is replicable across the target market. Very good data in support of impact and levels of collaboration. 

“The submission opens with a clearly stated objective. I really like the way this initiative drew on a wide range of knowledge and people to make sure the solution it found was appropriate. 

“Excellent multi-partnership work producing video and education packs for many schools – showing climate change reasons to travel by train.” 

i-creation’s creative team made Daffnee a reality, producing the campaign concept, visuals and animations, the activity pack and digital assets for the webinar. The project brief came from CrossCountry Trains, Community Rail Lancashire and the Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership. 

All content in the campaign was fact-checked by Network Rail and the Decarbon8 Research Network. 

Nigel Pye, i-creation’s head of creative, said: “We’re delighted to win another award in the UK rail industry. We’ve a long and successful record of working with the Community Rail Network, community rail partnerships across the UK and the train operating companies and their supply chain. 

“Our creative team made a really attractive campaign, with consistent and credible messaging. So many claims are made in the sustainability arena, so independent fact-checking and accreditation was a must and really paid off. 

“Seeing children respond to and learn from the assets both in the classroom and on line was tremendously rewarding. 

“We’re pleased that a successful project demonstrates a significant social value and return on clients’ investment.”

Watch the Travel with the Green Team video featuring Daffnee Green.

28 March 2024

It’s a wrap… a leading Staffordshire creative agency made a big impact after making showcase digital assets to connect FTSE 100 packaging giant DS Smith with customers from the world’s biggest brands.


The video and graphic package produced by Stoke-based i-creation was the centrepiece of DS Smith’s stand at London Packaging Week, which attracted thousands of visitors from around the world to the packaging industry’s biggest UK trade show.


Organisers billed the event as an opportunity to “join hundreds of industry leaders, including suppliers, designers, packaging developers, marketers, founders, and buyers, as they gather to fuel their innovation and creativity”.


DS Smith not only staged a prominent stand for sales teams to engage with new and existing customers, but also sponsored the event’s VIP lounge, where visitors could relax, hot desk, network and spend more time with the DS Smith team. 

Stoke-on-Trent creative agency showcases its talent on world stage with video and graphics package for FTSE 100 packaging giant 

Chris Peach, left, and Scott Thomas working on the digital assets package for DS Smith at i-creation’s studio.

Content made by i-creation helped condense key messaging on customer service, supply chain support, innovation and DS Smith’s priority – circular thinking on sustainability issues – into high intensity video content for large format display.


The content was a talking point for visitors and DS Smith salespeople, who also had tablets containing more detailed versions of the videos and photo galleries detailing specialist DS Smith packaging solutions.


i-creation’s Andy Jackson said: “We’ve worked for DS Smith in the UK and Europe for seven years now and we’re always delighted to make assets which promote their expertise, vision, commitment to circular metrics and the highest levels of customer service.

“The package we made for London Packaging Week at the Excel was a snapshot of three of the most important DS Smith business units, and helped the sales team update many thousands of visitors to the company’s stand and sponsored VIP lounge area on the very latest DS Smith news and the company’s strengths.”

DS Smith Marketing Manager Sophie Gibson, who commissioned the work from i-creation, said: “We engaged i-creation to support us with the launch of our refreshed value proposition for Hi-Performance Packaging, and to showcase its work, alongside that of our e-commerce and point of sale teams at London Packaging Week.


“They were instrumental in helping bring our offering to life both internally and externally with engaging content.” 

Watch the DS Smith overview showreel, made in Stoke by i-creation.

The main video being run at DS Smith’s stand at London Packaging Week.

5 October 2023

An internship scheme, which aims to widen participation and diversity in the advertising and creative sectors, is expanding for 2024 – spearheaded by three of the area’s most innovative companies.


Called the “Best Summer Job Ever” it offers students across Staffordshire the chance to win a paid placement working alongside experienced industry professionals and to see how projects are delivered.


Open to anyone over 18 who is from or living in the county, the scheme is run by VCCP’s Stoke Academy, B2B marketing agency Lesniak Swann and creative content agency i-creation.


All three are based at the Spode site in Stoke-on-Trent and work for a range of national and international customers including, Cadbury, Virgin Media O2, JCB, Michelin, DS Smith, Autoglass and the NHS.

Paid-for Internship aimed at promoting diversity is ‘Best Summer Job Ever’

Some of the interns who took part in last year's programme pictured with VCCP's Emily Dunn, back row, third left.

No work experience or degree qualification is required to apply to the programme, which also covers employability skills such as CV writing and interview techniques.


It has been developed to help widen participation and diversity in the advertising and creative industries, at a time when many young people – in particular those from working class backgrounds – don’t view the sector as a viable career choice.


This is despite areas like Staffordshire being home to leading agencies that work with some of the world’s biggest brands.


Now in its third year, the scheme has led to a number of interns securing jobs in a range of creative roles. For 2024 all three agencies will offer a paid four-week placement to a total of fourteen successful applicants.

A fact-finding and brain storming session during the 2023 programme.

5 February 2024

Michael Lee, Partnership Chief Strategy Officer at VCCP London, said: “Our industry is faced with an increasingly narrow talent pool, despite great creativity relying on having a diverse group of people all contributing their thoughts and ideas.


“We feel we’re in danger of becoming quite a monocultural profession if we don’t overcome the socio-economic barriers many feel prevent them from joining the industry.


“So initiatives like this summer internship are hugely important in broadening industry participation and demonstrating the career potential on offer. Stoke is one of the birthplaces of the modern creative industries, so there’s no better place to kickstart the scheme.”


“It’s a shame how many talented people from Stoke and Staffordshire hold the perception that a career in advertising, or even marketing in general, just isn’t for them.


Alex Swann, Managing Director of Lesniak Swann said: “This is despite Stoke being an area where in the past creative talents were hugely important to the success of businesses, not least the big ceramic brands like Wedgwood, Doulton and Spode. We’re excited that the summer internship can help the area to rediscover how rewarding a career in the sector can be.”


Applications are open from 1st February and close on 1st April, with the internships running from Monday 17th June – Friday 12th July. Applicants are able to choose whether they wish to apply for a placement with VCCP, Lesniak Swann, i.creation or all three agencies, by following these links:

Lesniak Swann



A fact-finding and brain storming session during the 2023 programme.

bottom of page