Creative industry leaders underlined their aspirations to accelerate future growth in the UK creative industries at a Parliamentary reception hosted by the Creative Industries Council (CIC), the joint industry government forum.
Acknowledging the resilience of UK creative industries in the pandemic, speakers focused on the potential to expand creative businesses across all UK regions and communities. They also highlighted the potential to grow exports and inward investment highlighted in a new international strategy from CITIB (Creative Industries Trade & Investment Board).
Addressing an audience including Creative Industries Minister Julia Lopez, MPs, Peers and industry representatives, Sir Peter Bazalgette, Industry co-Chair of the CIC, said that in 2022 the UK creative industries had bounced back to 95 per cent of their 2019 value. This revival was helped by the UK government’s Cultural Recovery Fund and the Film and TV Production Restart Scheme.
Sir Peter also praised the success of the Creative Clusters programme, launched by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), in fostering links between universities and creative businesses to drive innovation. For £50m of public funding the programme has attracted £217m of matched private investment.
Now the CIC was focused on driving growth, he said, and was working with the government on a Sector Vision for creative industries with the aim of publication in early 2023.
There are no details on this document, but it will aim to deliver inclusive growth, both in terms of UK regions and of who has access to the creative industries. As well as the discussing the role of clusters, it will analyse current and future skills needs, and the social and soft power impact of the creative industries.
Sir Peter said going forward there needed to be improvement in data about, and used by, the creative industries.
He added: “And we absolutely need to get our sector understood as an R&D (Research and Development) innovation sector. That is what we are. That is not widely enough understood across government, across the country.”
He cited CoSTAR, a cutting edge facility run by AHRC with funding from UK Research & Innovation, that provides innovative resources for the screen, gaming and performance sectors, as an “example of the R&D we are going to need”.
Reinforcing the UK’s reputation as a nation of creatives, collaborators, global design leaders and innovators, had never been more important, said Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council and Chair of CITIB.
She said the UK was number two on the global ‘soft power index’ and number one in Europe, but maintaining that position took ‘more than the work of our trade association and independent businesses’.
CITIB is the industry-led board set up to develop the position of the creative industries on the global stage. It has a new strategy with the aim of achieving £78bn ofUK creative exports by 2030.
Rush said: “That would keep us on the pre-pandemic growth trajectory. I know that we are starting to get there, but we are not quite there yet.
“So it means that it is not ‘business as usual’. That we all need to work together to alleviate trade barriers, to get access to skilled labour, to have the right trade deals, the right exports programmes and a forward-thinking IP framework.”
She said that in partnership with the government, the creative industries needed to build platforms to increase the confidence of businesses in exporting and to establish new ways to protect and grow inward investment across more creative disciplines, extending the success of UK film and TV in attracting international investors.
Creative Industries Minister Julia Lopez said the creative industries were an economic powerhouse in the UK.
In addition to initiatives cited by other speakers, she pointed to support for the creative industries such as the government’s consultation on modernising tax reliefs for the audio visual industries and the £17.5m Create Growth programme to help scale up English creative businesses outside London.
The Creative Industries Annual Parliamentary Reception was held in the Terrace Pavilion, House of Commons, on Tuesday November 29 2022. As well as the speeches it included a musical performance by singer songwriter Tom Speight.
Find out more about the work of CITIB