Following on from the inaugural Creative England Live – an event in Central London to showcase and celebrate the regionally based businesses and individuals who we believe are highly innovative, supremely creative, and that undoubtedly have the potential to grow in scale and shape the future of their industry, Caroline Norbury CEO of Creative England reflects on the last three years.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer recently declared that the UK’s creative industries are in the midst of a new ‘Golden Age’ and last week’s economic estimates from DCMS certainly testify to that.
We are living at a time of great creative disruption, generating new ways of living, working and thinking. At the forefront of this disruption are creators – artists, entrepreneurs and technologists whose ideas and values are being absorbed into every facet of the 21st century global economy and society. And the UK is leading the way.
New opportunities and old challenges
One of the fastest growing areas for this new economy is business to business. Creative content businesses, and the thinking behind them, are driving innovative cross-sector ventures in health, education, financial services, retail, high-end manufacturing and government services. There isn’t a sector unaffected by digital distribution, communications and production.
And yet, these businesses that are so vital to our future competitiveness in the global economy are facing challenges that threaten their growth and ambition. They suffer from substantial skills shortages. They suffer from financial institutions that find it difficult to get out of their old habits and lend against intangible assets. Perhaps most significantly, they suffer from an investment culture characterised by a limited appetite for taking ‘risks’.
The result is that many creative businesses struggle to access growth finance. This means talent is undeveloped, ideas unrealised, and opportunities lost.
Creating the right conditions
That is why at Creative England we invest, connect, mentor, advocate and collaborate at all levels of the industry, from small independents to large internationals – helping to create the right conditions across the English regions for creativity to really succeed. From supporting directors, games studios and app developers, to writers, animators and production companies; we help connect creatives to those vital ingredients for success – money, markets and networks.
We also work closely with government, financiers and policy makers to build a better environment for the industry, promoting the essential long-term investment in intellectual property that our industries need.
At Creative England we work with talented, creative people every day; helping them to turn their ideas into solid, sustainable businesses. We know that the creative industries have the potential to play a significant role across the English regions over the coming years in the effort to create a balanced, high growth economy.
We also know, as our recent report “Creative England 50” demonstrates, that talent is everywhere. Our job is to find and champion creative talent wherever it resides and help them access the skills, investment and support they need to succeed. In this way not only will we build stronger businesses – we will also build more resilient creative communities, able to continue this Golden Age of Creativity.