CREATIVE business is booming in Colchester, according to a new report.

National innovation charity Nesta and Creative England have produced a document called The Geography of Creativity in the UK which ranks Colchester eighth in the country for creative industries importance in terms of drawing people to creative jobs from a wider area.

The borough ranks 20th in the UK for high concentration and growth of the sector.

Creative industries include things such as advertising, architecture, design, film, theatre, software development and publishing.

Colchester Council leader Paul Smith (Lib Dem) was elated at the results.

He said: "I am delighted to see these results, which show Colchester is really on the national map in terms of the success and growth of its booming creative sector.

"The council had identified the creative and digital sectors as strategic priorities for growth in the borough, this is evidence this focus is yielding significant progress and development for our town."

The council's culture and regeneration boss Tim Young (Lab) said he thought the sector would continue to flourish.

He said: "This report is recognition of the important growth being experienced in this sector in Colchester.

"This growth brings numerous benefits to local residents, businesses and visitors alike.

"New businesses are the key to future growth of this sector and the forthcoming Old Police Station development and Essex University's Knowledge Gateway will provide a strong support base giving any new ventures every chance of success.

"The report acknowledges a 20 year programme of place making around culture and creativity, which underpins the regeneration of St Botolph's.

"It has already brought forward Firstsite and the Waiting Room- with the Creative Business Centre at the Old Police Station set to open this autumn, and work set to start on the Curzon Cinema development it's a time of real progress for the town."

According to the report, a total of 6,587 people in Colchester are employed within the creative industries - a total of 5.7 per cent of the people in work making it the most creative town in Essex.

Firstsite director Sally Shaw said she hoped engagement could continue to grow.

She said: "Firstsite has the opportunity to meet with and support many of those within the creative community and we are thrilled that this report acknowledges the dedication and support given to those individuals and businesses. The programmes, groups and classes held at Firstsite have seen an increase in participants this year and we look forward to growing this community, welcoming new participants into 2017 and collectively celebrating the success and innovations out of Colchester."