Government to invest £150m in creative industries

Government to invest £150m in creative industries

The government and the Creative Industries Council (CIC) are to invest more than £150m into the UK's creative industries in a "groundbreaking" new deal designed to "consolidate the country's position as a global creative powerhouse".

As part of a Creative Industries Sector Deal, announced today (28th March) by the digital and culture secretary Matt Hancock, business secretary Greg Clark and co-chair of the CIC Nicola Mendelsohn, more than £150m is being jointly invested by the government and industry to help cultural and creative businesses across Britain "thrive".

The Sector Deal aims to double Britain’s share of the global creative immersive content market by 2025, which is expected to be worth over £30bn by this time. The government will also be investing over £33m in immersive technologies such as virtual reality video games, interactive art shows and augmented reality experiences in tourism, to "seize on the opportunity of this expanding market".

Hancock said that Britain’s creative industries were an "economic and cultural powerhouse" and this "ambitious deal" would "make sure they continue to thrive as we build a Britain fit for the future".

“Our creative industries will help develop the talent of the future, ensure people are rightly rewarded for their creative content and give our firms the support they need to compete on the global stage", said Hancock. "Millions of people around the world enjoy our world-class artistic and cultural output and we want Britain to stay a frontrunner in these vibrant sectors.”

Sector deals are partnerships between the government and industry on sector-specific issues. The government has recently announced deals of this kind with the life sciences, automotive, artificial intelligence and construction sectors.

The creative industries' deal includes £72m from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund with £39m for the Arts and Humanities Research Council to support eight creative research and development partnerships across Britain and £33m to invest in immersive technology products, services and experiences. The investment will also provide £2m to extend the ‘Get it Right’ campaign to tackle online piracy and educate consumers on the value of copyright and direct them to legitimate websites.

The funding will ensure improved access to finance from the British Business Bank for high-growth, creative businesses outside of London, with up to £4m to be invested in a new programme to make sure businesses are ready for investment. A new creative industries Trade and Investment Board will also be created, comprisced of people from industry and government, to replace the current Sector Advisory Group, with the ambition of increasing creative industry exports by 50% by 2023 and boosting the number of creative businesses exporting. A Cultural Development Fund will also be launched for cities and towns to bid for a share of £20m to invest in creative and cultural initiatives.

The government and CIC have said they are also committed to cracking down on copyright infringement.

Stephen Lotinga, chief executive of the Publishers Association, welcomed the deal and said the trade body was "delighted to see the economic potential of the creative industries recognised".

He added: "In particular, we very much welcome the commitments on tackling copyright infringement, supporting creative careers and setting up a creative industries trade and investment board. These are all positive steps, and we look forward to working with government on implementing the deal. However, there is still more that the government can and should do to support publishing and the wider creative industries, including by promoting strong copyright laws in international trade deals and by removing VAT on digital publications."

John Kampfner, chief executive of Creative Industries Federation, added: "The Creative Industries Sector Deal is a welcome first step, highlighting the significant contribution our sector makes to UK innovation, productivity, and growth. But government's commitments cannot end here. We look forward to continued commitment in supporting the next generation of creatives which will ensure our creative industries remain world-leading.

"To this end, the Federation will be leading on a Creative Careers Campaign to showcase the richness and diversity of creative careers to young people, teachers, parents and carers across the UK. We look forward to working with government to equip the next generation for future work."

The Creative Industries Federation is still lobbying the government to show greater clarity and leadership over Brexit, with a recent report revealing the creative industries sector is anxious it is being "sidelined" as Brexit negotiations continue.