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The UK is a world leader in creative industries

Source: Public Sector Executive Feb/Mar 2014

Katja Hall, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI)’s chief policy director, describes its new Creative Nation strategy, highlighting the economic importance of culture in Britain.

This month London Fashion Week, the Brit awards and the BAFTAs are showcasing British artistic talents around the globe – but that is just a small part of what has been a remarkable British success story. The CBI’s Creative Nation strategy sets out how we can build on current success and cement our position as the world’s leading creative hub.

Recent figures from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport reveal that the creative industries – from television and film to music and video games – generate more than £71bn a year for the British economy. That’s a staggering £8m an hour.

Creative blueprint

The UK is home to the best creative industries in the world and London remains the major European destination for foreign and direct investment, accounting for more than 10% of the UK’s total exports of services and sustaining more than 1.5 million jobs.

From fashion brands such as Stella McCartney and Victoria Beckham to internationally acclaimed recording artists like Ellie Goulding and One Direction, the creative industries are an integral part of the UK’s global appeal.

Creative firms can be found in every region in the country and are thriving in a number of creative hubs such as Media City in Salford and the Titanic Quarter in Belfast. This is a blueprint which could be translated to many other parts of the UK. We want to see Local Enterprise Partnerships play to their regional strengths, to create the right policy and business environment to support growth industries.

Next generation

If British creative industries are to continue to create jobs and boost our economy it’s vital to lay the right ground rules to facilitate investment. In a competitive global environment, we must ensure our young people have the right education and skills to compete with rivals internationally.

Our research has shown that UK firms are not confident about their ability to access high skilled employees in growth areas such as
hi-tech and IT. This is a cause for concern because creative firms require access to skills in art and design but also a “fusion” of capabilities across technology, maths and science.

The CBI’s schools campaign has championed the development of creativity in young people with considerable success. This year will see this recommendation implemented through the rollout of new computing and computer science curricula in schools.

Tax relief

Intellectual property has a crucial role in driving economic growth in the creative sector. We believe the UK should be a leading voice
in developing the debate on copyright in Europe. We must make the UK the best place to invest in, develop and exploit intellectual property.

The recent extension to film tax relief announced in the autumn statement is a welcome boost for the industry but we need
to create more tax reliefs to secure our competitive advantage. In the short term we will seek to influence the European
Commission to accept a tax credit for video games.

We believe that the UK has the potential to be the leading exporter across all areas of creative content by 2025.  Our strategy highlights how, through the creation of the right policy and business environment, we can build on current success and lay the foundations for long-term global growth.

The CBI’s Creative Nation recommendations

• The UK government should be a leading voice in the developing debate on copyright in Europe. There must be unequivocal commment to developing licensing models across the EU, including a robust position in support of territoriality in licensing, as the bedrock of both the UK and European creative sectors.

• The new Competition and Markets Authority must be alive to the impact of digital in changing product and geographic boundries and responsive to these changes; it must also facilitate a dynamic and outward-facing competitive environment for the UK’s creative industries, enabling UK businesses to create scale in content markets that are becoming increasingly global in nature.

• Ensure that new approaches to the apprenticeship system are applicable to the UK’s creative industries, including extending the Trailblazer pilots to include creative firms and supporting genuine industry ownership over the content and scope of apprenticeship frameworks.

• Government should be prepared to use its influence to push for measures in foreign markets that make them receptive to British content.


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