A new review has called for the Government to take action to ensure the UK’s creative industries receive more jobs, funding and diversity.
The Independent Review of the Creative Industries, conducted by Sir Peter Bazalgette, was published this month and puts forward recommendations on how to ensure job and financial growth in the sector.
New sector deal
The main recommendation is around a new sector deal, which would see the Creative Clusters Fund, a £500 million fund devoted to boosting the creative industries in areas outside of London and the South East. The deal would also include improved copyright and intellectual property (IP) laws, an education strategy to “inform and excite” young people about jobs in the sector, and better access to finance for small businesses.
One million new jobs by 2030
According to Bazalgette, the deal could result in one million new creative jobs by 2030, increase the economic value of the sector to £128 bn by 2025, and make it more accessible and diverse.
The review’s recommendations will now be considered by the Government as part of its upcoming Industrial Strategy, which looks to boost and support UK industries.
Last year’s Industrial Strategy focused on STEM
This year’s Industrial Strategy was released in January, and prime minister Theresa May focused primarily on supporting research into science and technology, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills alongside digital skills.
Industry professionals scrutinised the report at the time for neglecting the arts. A spokesperson at the Creative Industries Federation (CIF) said: “Developing skills – and encouraging the right mix of skills – is critical. We understand the Government’s focus on STEM but highlight that creative skills…are needed not just by the creative industries but in everything from car manufacturing to engineering.”
£80 million programme to boost creativity nationwide
In response to the Bazalgette report, the Government has so far announced a new £80 million Creative Industries Clusters Programme competition, led by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
The £80 million programme will see regions of the country bid for research and development (R&D) partnerships between universities and businesses, to link local students up with possible employment opportunities and improve their creative skills. Eight areas will be selected for the fund.
The Government will now work with the Creative Industries Council and Creative Industries Federation on a full sector deal.
Government to “remove barriers” to creativity
Bazalgette says: “In every scenario, the creative industries are set to be of central importance to the UK’s future success. 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.”
Karen Bradley, culture secretary at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), says: “The Government is committed to removing the barriers to the UK creative industries’ growth.
“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.”