At a time when digital technologies are transforming the economy and the way we live our lives, Britain’s creative industries are at the heart of the country’s competitive advantage and are a crucial part of the future economy. It’s at the nexus of the creative and digital that our bread will be buttered over the next generation.
Looking forward ten, twenty or thirty years we need booming creative industries to not only create jobs and growth across the country, but continue to be at the centre of our productivity and global success. The cultural and creative sectors are the engine of the UK’s international image and soft power.
Creative Industries influence and help shape how the rest of the world sees us. Whether it be music, film or design, these key industries, and the products they produce, help strengthen the UK brand. The industry is helping to forge trading links in emerging economies across the globe, influencing wider perceptions of the UK.
From Harry Potter to Grand Theft Auto, Saatchi & Saatchi to Savile Row, Adele to Alexander McQueen, our creative industries are selling ‘brand Britain’ abroad and are a source of pride here at home. The UK’s Creative Industries are an economic powerhouse and we are committed to building on its huge strengths and unleashing its potential even further.
The sector contributes over £90billion to our economy, employing more than two million people and is growing three times as fast as the economy as a whole. Job figures in 2017 showed employment in the sector grew at four times the rate of the UK workforce as a whole.
The UK is the third-largest exporter of cultural goods and services in the world – just behind China and the USA. Film alone attracted £1bn inward investment to the UK in 2016/17, creating jobs, boosting tourism and bringing global talent in front of and behind the screen to the UK.
But there is enormous potential to go further. The immediate opportunity is growing global demand for British-made creative content, with creative industries playing an increasingly important role in other sectors: from designers in automotive and engineering to TV and digital content in online platforms.
Today we are delighted to announce a landmark Industrial Strategy Sector Deal between the Government and the Creative Industries sector. We know that by working together, industry and government can unlock further growth across the UK.
Through this deal, industry and Government, working with universities and local government, will invest more than £150million. This will support the creative skills of the future via a substantial careers programme; technologies of the future via research into Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality; the places of the future by funding leading creative regional clusters to compete globally; and against the risks of the future by new measures to protect creative content from IP infringement.
These challenges are complex and this Creative Industries Sector Deal is just the beginning - the first iteration of an agreement that will grow over time. If we can get the conditions right and the Creative Industries continue to outperform the rest of the UK economy, they have the potential to be worth £150billion and create 600,000 new jobs by the mid-2020s.
Today we have shown our continued commitment to this world leading sector and together, we can build on the UK’s position as the most creative and innovative place on earth.
Matthew Hancock is Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Conservative MP for West Suffolk
Greg Clark is Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Conservative MP for Royal Tunbridge Wells