This paper seeks to make a link between the concepts of competitiveness and the 'creative class' at a place-based level. The paper explores the relationship between creativity and competitiveness at the local level across the UK using a rural - urban framework. A growing competitiveness divide between rural and urban areas is found. Also, the creative class is found to be more evenly distributed than might be anticipated a priori. In conclusion, we argue that city-region approaches to economic development are having a detrimental impact on the competitiveness of rural regions.