Morris urges creatives to engage with Government

Former Education and Skills Secretary Estelle Morris is urging the creative industries to engage more with Government to capitalise on a ‘moment’ of awareness of what they can bring to the economy.

But, she says, there needs to be more dialogue to avoid a mismatch between the ‘rebel’, risk-taking nature of creativity and the public sector’s concerns about measurement and accountability.

Speaking at a debate on the Future of the Creative Industries at the London College of Communication last night, Morris said that the Government is at ‘a moment of great change’ and there is ‘a realisation that there is something out there that needs supporting’.

‘The Government wants to make mainstream what used to be marginal,’ she says, adding that the aim is to make it easier for creative people to break new ground to boost the UK economy.

She says the attraction of the creative industries to the Government is threefold: the sheer numbers of people they employ; the £60bn a year they bring to the economy, and the fact they are growing at twice the rate of other sectors; as well as what she perceives as ‘the link between creativity and the modern economy’.

Morris is, however, concerned that the Government’s ‘measuring, weighing and accountability’, evidenced in the targets implicit in its White Paper – Creative Britain – could prevent the two cultures coming together successfully.

‘We need to work as one,’ she says of Government and the creative industries, if accountability mechanisms are not to discourage risk-taking and encourage creative ‘rebels’ to engage with the mainstream.

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