Birmingham and the West Midlands is failing to recognise the international impact of its creative and cultural scene, an industry expert has claimed.

Lara Ratnaraja, Business Link West Midlands' Creative and Knowledge Industries Sector Manager, said the city and surrounding region remained unaware of the influence it had overseas.

She said: "What is ironic is that the rest of the world sees Birmingham and the West Midlands as a real influencer in the international creative scene, yet we don't actually realise how good and successful we can be. This is something we are looking to change."

Ms Ratnaraja, who heads a team of 15 creative sector advisers at Business Link West Midlands said there was a need for the region to market its talents and achievements more effectively.

She said: "The industry is at an extremely important stage of its development and we now need to help it raise and achieve its ambition. "We have sizeable organisations doing groundbreaking things and this has to be reflected in our marketing. In fact, if the rate of growth continues we could soon be one of the region's key economic drivers."

Heading the growth list is digital media, both in terms of content - serious games, film and design - and distribution - such as advertising, Ms Ratnaraja said. Visual art, education work, live art and music are also key economic and cultural drivers.

She added: "A quick look through the achievements of some of the companies we work with at Business Link West Midlands tells you all you need to know about the diversity and potential of the region.

"Lisa Meyer and Jenny Moore - founders of music, arts and promotion specialists Capsule - have enjoyed tremendous success for hosting music events with a difference and even saw their Supersonic festival win international festival of the year in Plan B magazine. They now have their own record label.

"Then you have Mark Ball's Fierce Earth contemporary arts organisation continuing to innovate the way contemporary live art is presented. Personal success has come in the shape of his appointment as Head of Events at the RSC in Stratford, whilst the organisation has recently won a contract to curate a Live Art Festival in Newcastle and Gateshead.

"In addition you have Punch Records leading the way in music education, with their director Ammo Talwar being awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours List, photographer Chris Keenan (aka Prime Objective) completing high profile projects for Southern Comfort and Dazed and Confused magazine, not to mention Birmingham-based fashion designer Jacob Kimmie having his work featured on the front cover of the Sunday Times Style magazine and worn by Gwyneth Paltrow in a GQ shoot."

Graphic and digital communications agency Clusta was also seeing success with the launch of a Los Angeles office, Ms Ratnaraja added.