CULTURE minister Ben Bradshaw has praised Huddersfield for "showing the way to the future".

The MP visited The Media Centre on Northumberland Street yesterday morning.

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport said: "It’s good to see a proud industrial town like Huddersfield showing the way in one of the great new industries of the future.

"I was very impressed to learn about the history of the centre, how it was set up by visionary people during the last big recession in the 1980s and 1990s at a time when Huddersfield was going through a very difficult patch."

The Exeter MP added that the creative sector was very important in Britain. He said: "Britain is number one in the world in terms of the creative sector as a proportion of our Gross Domestic Product. It employs twice as many people as the financial sector and doesn’t get the credit it deserves."

The media centre houses 130 creative and media businesses, employing 300 people.

Mr Bradshaw was shown round the site yesterday by chief executive Brent Woods.

He said: "We are delighted to have hosted a visit from Mr Bradshaw. The breadth of knowledge, skill and achievement among our clients is something we’re really proud of and it’s great to have had the opportunity to show Mr Bradshaw first-hand how the centre is working to ensure Huddersfield continues to play an important role in Britain’s digital future."

Mr Bradshaw visited Huddersfield on the eve of the first reading of his Digital Economy Bill, which includes a crackdown on Internet piracy.