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Creative Economy

View: Sector Deal Update

February 22, 2021
Published on:
April 29, 2019
January 5, 2021

Creative Industries Sector Deal - A Progress Update

By Tim Davie, Industry Co-Chair of Creative Industries Council and CEO, BBC Studios

Tim Davie 300px

One year on since the launch of the landmark Creative Industries Sector Deal, excellent progress has been made on the commitments made by government and industry to drive growth of creative businesses across the country.

Our creative industries are a UK success story, worth over £100 billion per year, employing over two million people and already growing at twice the rate of the economy as a whole.

The Sector Deal, agreed between government and industry under the leadership of the Creative Industries Council (CIC), brings at least £150 million of new investment in a series of actions aimed at:

  • building sustainable creative industry ‘clusters’ around the country
  • driving growth through innovation and R&D
  • improving  access to finance, export support and intellectual property protection
  • strengthening the talent pipeline to address skills needs and improve diversity.

There have been some exciting developments since the Deal's announcement, showcasing the best of how government and industry can work together to benefit the sector.

Nine pioneering R&D partnerships between universities and creative businesses have been set up around the UK, under the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC) Creative Clusters Programme. This has brought around £80 million of investment to drive innovation-led growth in the creative industries.

The new Cultural Development Fund has committed £20 million of government and matched funding to five winning projects in Grimsby, the Thames Estuary, Plymouth, Wakefield and Worcester. These initiatives will support local growth, generating more than 1300 new jobs.

Meanwhile, the £4 million “Creative Scale-up” programme launched in the West of England, Greater Manchester and the West Midlands, will help creative businesses gain access to investment.

We are also investing in a skilled creative workforce. The £14 million industry-led Creative Careers Programme will transform advice and information for young people on careers, ensuring a larger and more diverse flow of talent into the sector.  Delivered by the Creative Industries Federation, ScreenSkills and Creative and Cultural Skills, the programme stands to reach two million young people.

We have advanced the plans for the industry-led Creative Kickstart Programme, which will harness leading business expertise to provide specialist advice and mentoring to creative SMEs, through events in specific locations starting later this year.

Technology is also playing an ever-growing role in audiences’ interaction with creativity and we want to help position the UK as a global leader in a fast-developing market.  

The Audience of the Future Programme will see ground-breaking Demonstrator projects develop the use of immersive technologies such as virtual and augmented reality.  The projects are led by world-renowned organisations including the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum, international e-sports organisers ESL, and the recently announced project with Tiny Rebel Games and Aaardman.

Looking beyond our own shores, the new industry-led Creative Industries Trade and Investment Board, chaired by Annette King of Publicis UK, has been established and is working on the three year rolling strategy to improve Government-industry collaboration and help drive a 50 per cent increase in creative industry exports by 2023.

Other elements of the Deal have also seen substantial progress. Round-table discussions, aimed at agreeing further action on protecting IP, with rights holders, social media, digital and online marketplace platforms are expect to conclude shortly. The sector continues to build on the wide range of existing programmes aimed at improving the diversity of the creative industries workforce, with further commitments expected in the next few months.

A range of new apprenticeship standards are in development, to increase the number and range of apprenticeship starts in the sector. The third annual CreaTech conference will take place on 11th June 2019, convening leaders, innovators and creative visionaries to consider the opportunities and challenges of a rapidly changing world in which technology and creativity increasingly work together.

Tim Davie (650px)
(Above: Tim Davie at CreaTech 2018 event)

Over the next year, these exciting initiatives will deliver measurable impact on the ground, in terms of growth, diversity, jobs and opportunities.  The Council will work with Government to ensure that the impact is properly measured and evaluated, enabling us to learn from these investments and build on them in the future, as well as exploring new areas such as education, AI and investment.

I’m delighted that our broad industry has worked hard together to deliver this huge progress in just one year and I know that the Council is keen to keep driving the implementation of all Sector Deal initiatives in next 12 months and beyond.

The Creative Industries Council (CIC) has also welcomed eight new members as part of a review to ensure the Council is fully representative of the UK’s world leading Creative Industries.

New members include Alex Mahon (Channel 4), Kanya King (MOBO), Debbie Bestwick (Team 17), Annette King (Publicis UK), Stephen Page (Faber and Faber), Lee Brooks (Production Park), Michael Dugher (UK Music), and Andrew Thompson (AHRC).


More detail on the CIC's reports and work here.

Full membership details and minutes from CIC meetings here.

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