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Creative Industries

The following initiatives focus on the support and development of the Creative Industries in the UK:

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BIS Creative Industries Strategy
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CBI Creative and Digital Industries Strand
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IPPR: Industrial Strategy for the Creative Industries
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Jim O’Neill & the Importance of the Creative Industries to Economic Performance
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John Sorrell's Notion of the CBI for Culture
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Labour's Creative Industries and Digital Review
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NESTA



BIS Creative Industries Strategy

BIS is currently coordinating efforts to develop a creative industries strategy. This is an initiative that originates in BIS’ involvement with the Creative Industries Council (CIC). According to the gov.uk website, this group was ‘set up to be a voice for creative industries'. And:

the council focus on areas where there are barriers to growth facing the sector, such as access to finance, skills, export markets, regulation, intellectual property (IP) and infrastructure. Action will be taken forward in these areas through the work of a small number of ‘task and finish’ working groups.

There are currently a number of creative industries strategy sub-groups, which are working around specific aspects of the sector. BIS is currently planning workshops with their members and consultations sessions to involve the CIC more broadly to be held in February 2014. The sessions aim to map current financing mechanisms for the sector, develop the vision for the strategy, define outcomes and plan the design, publication and promotion of the strategy.

This group is also involved in the Britain is Great campaign and the new website UK Creative Overview.


CBI Creative and Digital Industries Strand

The CBI is developing a strategy for the creative industries. According to their website:

If the UK is to achieve a balanced, high-growth economy, it is vital that the key strengths of businesses in the creative sector are nurtured. The CBI is developing policies on a range of issues to show what needs to be done to deliver the conditions under which our creative industries can thrive.

Their vision for this strategy is set out in a recent report entitled The Creative Nation: A growth strategy for the creative industries (downloadable here).

The strategy report includes three areas of collaboration, each of which includes specific action points and recommendations. The areas are:

  • Laying the right ground rules to facilitate investment in the UK. This includes emphasis on intellectual property as centrally-legislated protection; a competition framework that responds to digital changes; and a tax system that supports the creative industries.
  • Putting in place the enablers that, from there, encourage business expansion. This includes making available the right funding to growing firms; ensuring that the right skills-training is available; and developing the infrastructure that creative firms require to be able to grow.
  • Tilting the playing field to help creative industries take this expansion overseas. This includes just one recommendation, that of the UK government pushing for measures abroad that make international markets receptive to British content.

The CBI also supports fair pay for cultural producers and this is where creative industries lobbying overlaps with on-going campaigns at the publicly funded end of the arts and culture spectrum (see for instance, the long-standing campaign run by a-n, The Artists Information Company and AIR on fair pay for artists, with a particular focus on visual artists.


IPPR: Industrial Strategy for the Creative Industries

From the IPPR website:

IPPR is undertaking a major piece of research to develop an industrial strategy for the creative industries in the UK.

The creative sectors – including film, music and TV – have been identified as a key symbol of the UK around the world, as well as important drivers of economic activity. However, this sector, which is largely made up of SME's, is vulnerable to recession and has been hit hard by reduced public investment. Rather than shifting support between different subsectors, IPPR will develop policies aimed at supporting growth across the sector as a whole. The right policies on education and skills, infrastructure, intellectual property and support for investment in digital content and global promotion are critical to achieving this.

As part of this project, IPPR is hosting a series of high-level roundtables with government representatives and key players from the sector.

NOTE: The IPPR website fails to provide up to date information on the progress of this project. The dedicated updates page talks about a first roundtable held in September 2013 and preannounces a second event to be held in the autumn. It looks like no fresh information has been added in the past six months.


Jim O’Neill & the Importance of the Creative Industries to Economic Performance

In December 2013, economist Jim O’Neill was in China alongside the Prime Minister during his trade mission there. In this occasion he gave a speech in which he identifies the creative industries as central to planning for economic growth in the UK.

Here are some highlights from O'Neill's speech sourced from an article by Emma Jones founder of the business advice web resource ‘Enterprise Nation’:

  • In the past 2 years, China has created a new UK in economic terms.
  • This decade, with China growing at 7.5% (which is less than the past 3 decades), China will contribute more income to the world than the US and Europe put together.
  • If China continues to consume, the UK looks in a good position.

O'Neill concluded by saying that nations that have active knowledge and creative industries, are diverse and dynamic, and know about new energies and efficiencies, will do well in a China where more consumers are looking for affordable goods of all kinds - from education, food and fashion.


John Sorrell's Notion of the CBI for Culture

John Sorrell, Chairman of University of the Arts London has just launched an initiative to scope the idea of a CBI for culture with the help of John Kampfner, author, broadcaster and adviser to Google on freedom of expression and culture.


Labour's Creative Industries and Digital Review

From the press release:

Labour’s Shadow Culture Secretary Harriet Harman and Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna will today launch a review on how Britain can capitalise on its cutting-edge creative industries and developments in the digital economy as a key part of growing our way out of the cost-of-living crisis through better-paid and high-skilled jobs.

The review will be led by former UK Film Council Director John Woodward, supported by a group of industry experts from the film, TV, music, gaming, publishing and digital industries.

It will look at the challenges and opportunities for policymakers and businesses alike as well as how can Britain can better compete and continue to lead the way globally in the sector.

The Review has a clear focus on the digital:

This review sits alongside and will be informed by the Labour-backed taskforce on developing young people’s digital skills, led by Maggie Philbin, and Labour’s ‘Digital Government’ review, which is looking at how digital technology can improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of government and public services.

Key questions will include how to:

  • Promote growth and innovation in the creative and digital industries
  • Build a regulatory and competition regime that removes unnecessary barriers to growth and deals effectively with concentrations of power, network effects and economic bottlenecks, where a small number of players may constrain access for new entrants
  • Ensure that our citizens’ privacy and their individual data sets and online identities are effectively protected from unwanted and unreasonable exploitation or intrusion

The Review’s advisory board includes: Andrew Eaton, co-founder of Revolution Films; Jeremy Hertzog, head of Mishcon de Reya’s intellectual property department; Stephen Page, chief executive and publisher of Faber and Faber; Emma Pike, executive at Sony Music UK; Harvey Elliott CEO of Marmalade; Mary Fitzpatrick from GE Capital EMEA and formerly of C4 and BBC; MT Rainey, Executive Chairman of the digital agency Th_nk.


NESTA

NESTA are currently running a series of projects on the creative industries, including digital research and development funds for the arts across the UK, and a Creative Business Mentor Network (link here).

The charity has also produced ‘A Manifesto for the Creative Economy’, which was launched in April 2013.

The report outlines the hugely important contribution made to the UK economy by the creative industries (as 10% of the whole economy and providing 2.5m jobs). Authors Hasan Bakhshi, Ian Hargreaves and Juan Mateos-Garcia articulate the UK’s strong creative economy as a new ‘industrial revolution’ that urgently needs to be systematically assessed and responded to, so as to sustain global leadership in this area. They offer the examples of past ‘lost’ leadership positions, such as the automotive or computer industries.

The report produces ten policy recommendations (pp. 8-9), and highlights the following four as the most vital:

  • To ensure that the next generation of the Internet is truly open. This calls for contestable creative economy markets, well supervised by competition authorities which have the information and authority to act speedily and effectively when there are concerns about market abuse.
  • All teenagers should have the opportunity to learn creative digital skills such as designing apps and games, as part of a fusion in the curriculum covering technology and art, as well as maths, science and the humanities.
  • Policy tools designed to incentivise innovation, from tax relief to procurement rules, should be adapted to the needs of the creative economy.
  • The UK’s publicly funded creative powerhouseshould make the most of the next generation of digital technologies, from the BBC to universities, arts organisations and museums.