Cultural and creative industries continue to make substantial contributions to national economic growth, representing an important source of export revenues, jobs and incomes for British professionals.
In 2018 the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) published statistics showing that the creative industries workforce totalled over 2,008,000 – an increase of over 50,000 from 2017. The rate of job growth in the sector (2.5%) exceeds the national average (1.5%) (DCMS, 2018). The sector’s net contribution to GDP is also significant. In 2016 cultural and creative industries injected £92 billion into the British economy (DCMS, 2017). Moreover, the creative economy continues to play a critical role in promoting the social well-being of Britons, whilst advancing the country’s international cultural and creative influence.
The Government has tried to consolidate growth in the sector under the 2018 Industrial Strategy. Under this framework, the Government published the Creative Industries Sector Deal inw which it committe more than £150 million of government and industry funding across the lifecycle of creative businesses (BEIS, 2018). Towns and cities will be able to apply for up to £20 million from a new Cultural Development Fund to promote local creative clusters. Immersive technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) and interactive art projects will also receive specific investment of £33 million to strengthen Britain’s status as a global creative innovator. The industry has also benefited from successive tax relief since 2012. The Government announced that in 2017, businesses received £850 million in tax cuts.
Despite robust government steps, a number of challenges continue to obstruct inclusive growth in the sector. Most recently, the UK’s decision to leave the European Union has raised questions over businesses’ ability to attract and retain international talent. An enduring lack of sufficient racial and gender diversity also demonstrates the privileged access to employment that certain groups within the sector. In 2016, only 37% of all roles within the creative industry were filled by women, while 93% of positions within sports were filled by individuals from white ethnic groups (DCMS, 2017). Moreover, economic development has been uneven across the UK with most of the benefits of growth accruing to London and the south of England. Finally, whilst jobs have grown in areas such as film, TV and music, crafts and architecture, roles within performance and visual arts fell in 2017 (DCMS, 2018).
Growth within cultural and creative industries have understandably animated businesses and policy-makers alike. Nonetheless, if the UK is to effectively and sustainably mobilise the country’s creative expertise, passion and potential, it must overcome a number of remaining challenges. This timely symposium offers key stakeholders with an opportunity to assess the efficacy of major public policy developments as they relate to cultural and creative industries, generate strategies to ensure inclusive participation and share best practices to drive further growth in the sector.
- Analyse key provisions within the Creative Industries Sector Deal and suggest potential areas for reform
- Explore the benefits of Creative Industry Tax Reliefs in upholding growth in the sector
- Develop the potential of creative industry clusters in promoting local and regional economic development
- Discuss strategies to increase workforce diversity within the cultural and creative industries
- Share best practices for utilising digital technologies to maximise the economic value of cultural and creative industries post-Brexit
- Explore available sources of funding to support local cultural and creative businesses and entrepreneurs
- Consider the effect of evolving UK visa regulations on the cultural and creative industries and develop effective means of securing international talent
- Gain insights into how to successfully safeguard cultural education programmes and increase the social impact of cultural and creative industries
- Reaffirm the contribution of the cultural and creative industries in consolidating social wellbeing domestically and promoting the UK's cultural status abroad