Creative industries should be 'priority sector' in Brexit negotiations

Creative industries should be 'priority sector' in Brexit negotiations

The Creative Industries Federation has urged the government to ensure that the creative industries and arts are a "priority sector" in Brexit negotiations, in its election manifesto which is being distributed to all political parties and Federation members today (25th April).

The CIF, the body for the UK's creative industries, arts and cultural education, has identified 10 priority recommendations necessary for the creative insutries to "thrive".

The federation said: "The UK’s creative industries are key to driving growth in a post-Brexit Britain. The sector is the fastest growing part of the UK’s economy, contributing £87bn in gross value added (GVA). Between 2011 and 2015, it created three times more jobs than the economy as a whole. The UK is the third-largest exporter of cultural goods and services in the world - just behind China and the US. However, as other countries are now prioritising the sector, we cannot take our global pre-eminence for granted.

"With much of this growth, innovation and job creation emerging beyond London and the South East, the creative industries are also critical to delivering social and economic regeneration in places that need it the most. Few other sectors can deliver so much and at this scale. With the right vision, leadership and policies in place, the creative industries can help secure an economy and society that works for all. But if government fails to deliver, this vision is at risk."

Top of the list of priority reconmmendations is ensuring that the creative industries and arts are a "priority sector" in Brexit negotiations. Federation members were "overwhelmingly in favour" of remaining in the EU for "very practical reasons", the CIF said, adding: "The sector will be particularly vulnerable if we do not get right all the key issues in negotiations, among them movement of talent and intellectual property (IP)".

The federation also recommended that the government doubles the number of creative companies that export by the end of the next parliament. "Trade strategies are currently geared toward larger enterprises, whereas the creative industries are primarily made up of small and micro businesses. The sector accounted for 9% of total exports of services from the UK in 2014, valued at £20bn - an underestimate. With the right support, exports could be far higher, offering economic stability to a post-Brexit Britain."

The manifesto also advises the government to set up a creative skills commission which would report practical measures to increase skills in young people, and to launch a creative careers campaign which would provide information about potential careers in the creative industries and open up access to those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The CIF called on the government to maintain and inflation-proof existing national and local investment in culture and the arts, and maintain and increase the growth of the creative industries. "Over the past five years, the sector has grown by 34% - the fastest growing part of the UK’s economy. Government should commit to maintaining and increasing this pace of growth by 2022 for the sake not only of the sector, but of the wider economy too. This could take the GVA of the sector to an impressive £120bn," the body said.