DCMS revives Cool Britannia but ‘without the parties’

The aim of the initiatives is to generate business and economic activity from the diverse mix of endeavours that are bundled under the term ‘creative industries’. The department’s definition of these industries takes in music, film, architecture, crafts, fashion, textiles, performing arts, publishing, digital media, advertising and a host of design disciplines.

Purnell posed two key questions on these sectors: ‘What makes Britain creative and how can we turn that creativity into industrial success? In other words, how can we turn talent into hits and hits into profits?’

The Cox Review – a report to Chancellor Gordon Brown from Design Council chairman Sir George Cox – will form an important component in addressing these questions when it is published in time for the 2005 Pre-Budget report. Cox will aim to identify the relationships between businesses – particularly SMEs – and creative professionals. His premise is that ‘design, innovation, creativity, exploitation of technology and speed to market’ are the vital factors in the success of UK businesses and the economy.

Responding to Purnell’s IPPR address, Ekow Eshun, the Institute of Contemporary Arts’ recently appointed artistic director, argued that creative thinkers, businesses and Government have different ways of thinking and communicating.

‘The problem of bringing creativity to business is in the top-down, bottom-up split. Artists tend to come bottom-up, while Government is usually top-down. These are very different ways of working, using a different language and approach,’ Eshun explains. ‘Government and business have to mirror the spontaneity and swiftness of the cultural industries. But it is not an altruistic process: business wants profits, artists want success and the Government wants a strong cultural sector and economy.’


• Grew by average 6 per cent per annum 1997-2002, against an average 3 per cent growth for whole economy

• Exports valued at £11.4 billion, or 4.2 per cent of all goods and services exported in 2001

• Accounted for 8 per cent Gross Added Value in 2002

(Source: DCMS)


• Collaboration with Department of Trade and Industry and UK Patent Office, with aim of modernising intellectual property protection

• Study into case for setting up a Music Council

• Review of creativity in schools, led by education advisor Paul Roberts

• ‘Stock-take’ of film policy, conducted by UK Film Council

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