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UK creative industries ‘worth £128bn’

September 22, 2017

By Colin Mann

The UK’s booming creative industries could be worth £128.4 billion (€148.1bn) to the UK economy by 2025, and help to create up to 1 million new jobs by 2030, according to an independent review of the sector commissioned by the government and led by the current Chair of ITV Sir Peter Bazalgette.

The review – Independent Review of the Creative Industries – outlines key recommendations for how the Creative Industries can underpin the UK’s future economic growth and highlights how the sector is continuing to outperform other sectors in terms of employment, having already grown 300,000 jobs between 2011 and 2015. It makes a number of recommendations on how government and the Creative Industries can work together to remove barriers to growth. It spans issues from access to finance, intellectual property, trade and creative clusters – areas with high concentrations of ambitious companies who will drive regional growth.

“The UK’s Creative Industries are an economic powerhouse and the government is committed to removing the barriers to its growth,” commented Culture Secretary Karen Bradley. “The key challenge now is turning these ideas into a strong partnership, which is credible and has buy-in from both government and industry. I encourage the sector to do what it does best – think creatively and work with us on achieving a compelling and ambitious deal “that allows the UK Creative Industries to continue to thrive.

Other asks include a strategy to attract and develop young talent to make the Creative Industries more accessible, including a careers programme for secondary schools and expanding the UK’s network of Saturday Clubs.

The review’s recommendations will now be considered carefully by the Government as part of its Industrial Strategy and used to inform work towards a sector deal in the coming months. In response, the Government has already announced the opening of the £80 million Creative Industries Clusters Programme competition, led by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

“The UK’s booming Creative Industries contribute nearly £90 billion to the economy and employ more than two million people,” noted Business Secretary Greg Clark. “The review unveiled today demonstrates our world-class talent and expertise in these areas and reflects the industry’s vision for how we build on these strengths, now and in the future. We are grateful to Sir Peter Bazalgette for his excellent work. We will be working with him in the coming months towards a sector deal that helps us grasp the opportunities ahead. The £80 million Creative Industries Clusters Programme being launched today will deliver a further boost to our creative industries, help spread prosperity and grow the creative skills base across the UK.”

This funding means that from today, eight areas of the country will be able to establish creative Research and Development (R&D) Partnerships between universities and businesses. The Programme, which is supported by £39 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and matched by industry, will help catalyse economic growth and provide the skills needed for the jobs of the future and respond to challenges identified by the creative industries in their cluster. In addition, a new Policy and Evidence Centre will help fill the gaps in understanding of the creative industries – from the full value of their economic contribution to how they compare internationally.

“In every scenario, the Creative Industries are set to be of central importance to the UK’s future success,” advised Bazalgette. “We have two great assets: the English language and our creativity, but the skills and business models of this sector are of increasing importance. My report recommends simple ways of maximising the potential of this crucial sector which I’d like to see become part of the government’s developing Industrial Strategy. I urge government to ensure the final strategy is based on a fundamental understanding of what these industries need to thrive.”

“On behalf of the Creative Industries Council, I welcome Sir Peter Balzalgette’s report, which makes clear how vital our industries are to the economy of the 21st century, and frames an exciting ambition for growth and jobs over the next decade,” added Nicola Mendelsohn, Vice President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Facebook and chair of the Creative Industries Council.

“Sir Peter has identified some important priorities for action: we strongly share his desire to promote innovation, intellectual property and access to finance for growing creative enterprises; to support growth in international trade and creative clusters around the UK; and to secure the pipeline of diverse talent which our industries need in order to thrive. The Council looks forward to working with Government, and all parts of the industry, over the coming weeks in order to secure a Sector Deal which builds on Sir Peter’s review and cements the UK’s position at the heart of a thriving global creative economy.”

“The Federation welcomes Sir Peter Bazalgette’s review and the growing acknowledgement by government that the creative industries are an essential part of the country’s future growth,” remarked John Kampfner, CEO of Creative Industries Federation said. “We are also pleased to see that many of the recommendations the Federation and our membership submitted to the review have been reflected within it. Building the pipeline of talent to supply the creative workforce is crucial to ensure the continued success of the sector – the fastest growing of the UK economy worth £87 billion. That is why the Federation particularly welcomes the initiatives around skills including our idea for a Creative Careers Campaign within the Bazalgette review.”

Sir Peter was commissioned to undertake the review by Bradley and Clark following the Government’s January 2017 Industrial Strategy Green Paper.

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