DCMS blog

A year of Creative Industries success

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Tim Davie

Creative Industries Council Chair

One year on since the launch of the landmark Creative Industries Sector Deal, excellent progress has been made on the commitments from government and industry to drive the growth of creative businesses across the country.

The UK’s creative industries are undoubtedly a real success story, worth over £100 billion per year, employing over two million people and already growing at twice the rate of the economy as a whole.

Creative Industries Sector Deal

The Sector Deal, agreed between government and industry under the leadership of the Creative Industries Council (CIC), brings at least £150 million of new investment in a series of actions aimed at:

  • building sustainable creative industry ‘clusters’ around the country
  • driving growth through innovation and R&D
  • improving the business environment through enhanced access to finance, export support and protection of intellectual property
  • strengthening the talent pipeline into the industry, to address skills needs and improve diversity.

Exciting developments

There have been some exciting developments since deal was announced, showcasing the best of how government and industry can work together to benefit the sector. Nine pioneering partnerships between universities and creative businesses have been set up around the UK, under the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC) Creative Clusters Programme.

This has brought around £80 million of investment to drive innovation-led growth in the creative industries. The new Cultural Development Fund has committed £20 million of government and matched funding to five winning projects in Grimsby, the Thames Estuary, Plymouth, Wakefield and Worcester. These initiatives will support local growth, generating more than 1300 new jobs.

Meanwhile, the £4 million “Creative Scale-up” programme launched in the West of England, Greater Manchester and the West Midlands, will help creative businesses gain access to investment.

We are also investing in a skilled creative workforce. The £14 million industry-led Creative Careers Programme will transform advice and information for young people on careers, ensuring a larger and more diverse flow of talent into the sector. Delivered by the Creative Industries Federation, ScreenSkills and Creative and Cultural Skills, the programme stands to reach two million young people.

We have advanced the plans for the industry-led Creative Kickstart Programme, which will harness leading business expertise to provide specialist advice and mentoring to creative SMEs, through events in specific locations starting later this year.

Audience of the Future

Technology is also playing an ever-growing role in audiences’ interaction with creativity and we want to help position the UK as a global leader in a fast-developing market. The Audience of the Future Programme will see ground-breaking Demonstrator projects develop the use of immersive technologies such as virtual and augmented reality. The projects are led by world-renowned organisations including the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum, international e-sports organisers ESL, and the recently announced project with Tiny Rebel Games and Aardman.

Looking beyond our own shores, the new industry-led Creative Industries Trade and Investment Board, chaired by Annette King of Publicis UK, has been established and is working on the three year rolling strategy to improve Government/industry collaboration and help drive a 50% increase in creative industry exports by 2023.

Other elements of the Deal have also seen substantial progress. Round-table discussions, aimed at agreeing further action on protecting IP, with rights holders, social media, digital and online marketplace platforms are expect to conclude shortly. The sector continues to build on the wide range of existing programmes aimed at improving the diversity of the creative industries workforce, with further commitments expected in the next few months.

Technology and creativity working together

A range of new apprenticeship standards are in development, to increase the number and range of apprenticeships in the sector. The third annual Createch conference will take place in June 2019, convening leaders, innovators and creative visionaries to consider the opportunities and challenges of a rapidly changing world in which technology and creativity increasingly work together.

Over the next year, these exciting initiatives will deliver measurable impact on the ground, in terms of growth, diversity, jobs and opportunities. The Council will work with Government to ensure that the impact is properly measured and evaluated, enabling us to learn from these investments and build on them in the future, as well as exploring new areas such as education, AI and investment.

I’m delighted that our varied and diverse industry has worked hard together to deliver this huge progress in just one year and I know that the Council is keen to keep driving the implementation of all Sector Deal initiatives in next 12 months and beyond.

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