UK creatives call for political commitment
March 9, 2015
By Colin Mann
A cross-party gathering of UK Ministers, MPs and Peers, industry members of the Creative Industries Council (CIC) is urging political parties to continue working with industry to ensure the global success of the UK’s creative industries after the General Election. Leading figures from the creative industries are calling on politicians to make the sector, which brings in £8.8 million per hour to the UK economy, a priority for the new Government after May 7 and asking policy-makers to nurture the long-term growth of the sector as part of their overall industrial strategies.
Nicola Mendelsohn, VP EMEA Facebook and co-chair of the Creative Industries Council, said that the Create UK initiative was less than a year old, but was already showing what can be done when the creative industries work together towards shared goals. “Businesses in creative markets as ostensibly different as videogames and craft have come together – now we need politicians to reach a similar consensus. The creative industries are a global success story and an important source of future job creation at home. We need stable, long-term policies to support investment and planning for the next generation of creative successes,” she stated.
The call was made as part of a House of Commons event celebrating the progress made since the launch of Create UK – a strategy which, for the first time, presented a unified voice from sectors as diverse as fashion, publishing and video games. Progress made includes:
- A 114 per cent increase in the rise of overseas business wins by creative enterprises, supported by UK Trade & Investment
- Better Business Finance – a new online tool to help businesses find available funding and monetise IP
- Launch of Hiive, a new professional network for creative people, businesses and educators to connect, collaborate and grow together (www.hiive.co.uk)
- A pioneering study into the location of creative and tech clusters across Britain which will be used to establish priority areas for infrastructure.
“We are incredibly proud of our creative industries. They are a powerhouse in driving economic growth, outperforming all other sectors, and are one of the UK’s biggest success stories in recent times. Britain is home to amazing creative talent that is recognised, respected and celebrated worldwide, and Government has been working very closely with the Creative Industries Council to create an atmosphere in which creative businesses will continue to thrive,” said Culture Secretary Sajid Javid.
“From our introduction of new tax reliefs for the sector, to our nationwide rollout of superfast broadband, our message to the sector is clear – we understand the huge importance of the creative industries to the UK, and we are totally committed to supporting this fantastic sector, both now and well into the future,” he confirmed.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said that creativity was something Britain is truly great at. “In sectors ranging from music and animation, film and advertising, to design and architecture, we have world leading companies. Over the course of this parliament, the government and industry have been working together to foster the right environment for success. We’ve introduced a whole raft of measures to support our creative industries, including providing much needed funding to boost skills and encourage young people into this exciting profession; incentivising private investment through measures like the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme and extending the tax credit scheme to other key sectors like games and high-end television. Following the publication of the Create UK industrial strategy last year, I’m confident that the sector will be in poll position come 2020.”
Shadow Minister for Culture, Media and Sport Chris Bryant noted that 2.62 million people work in the creative industries, and the sector had consistently grown 4 per cent year-on-year. “The UK’s creative industries are the powerhouse of the UK economy, and key to Labour’s long term plan to deliver good jobs and earn our way to higher living standards for all. Ed Miliband recently set out our plans to put culture at the heart of government by strengthening creative education, widening access and building better career pathways into the creative industries. We want to build on the success of Create UK – industry and government working together for growth, great companies, good jobs and better living standards. We hope John Woodward’s upcoming Review of the Creative Industries will be a valuable contribution to this debate,” he concluded.