Labour calls for cross-Government creative industries group

Shadow Culture Secretary Ivan Lewis has called on the coalition Government to set up a cross-Government group of ministers and industry figures to produce a creative industries action plan.

Lewis, the Labour Secretary for Culture, Media and Sport, has called for the Government to produce an action plan by summer 2011 to tackle issues including skills and intellectual property.

Speaking at the Work Foundation earlier this week, Lewis said, ‘It is now urgent we act to maximise competitive advantage for British business. But also because the creative industries are key to overcoming the economic challenges we now face.’

He added, ‘They should be at the heart of a growth plan to fire our economic recovery and an integral part of rebalancing our economy from an over-dependency on financial services.’

Lewis called for the establishment of a plan to: seek a UK and European Union regulatory framework, set up ‘clear and robust’ intellectual property rights, provide clarity about broadband roll-out and the development of a demand-led education and skills system.

He is also calling for: better access to finance and support for start-ups, a tax policy that reflects the context of global competition, a strategy for accessing markets in developing countries and a study of the interaction between public- and private-sector funding.

Lewis says, ‘It would be a historic dereliction of duty if ministers allow our creative industries to go the way of British manufacturing in the 1980s and 90s.’

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