CREATIVE INDUSTRIES PUBLISH NEW MANIFESTO

Features  |  29 October 2019

A consortium of industry bodies representing key stakeholders and employers in the creative industries have issued a 10-point manifesto outlining statements of intent for all political parties ahead of a likely general election.

Having consulted with hundreds of creative organisations and individuals on how to tackle inequalities within the sector and unleash remarkable potential across the UK, the Creative Industries Council and the Creative Industries Federation united with Creative England, have issued a 10-point manifesto outlining statements of intent for the future of the creative industries, published today.

Statement from the Creative industries:

The creative industries deliver economic, social and reputational value. They add over £100bn to the UK’s economy, export £46bn in goods and services worldwide and are growing at twice the rate of the general economy. The sector employs more than 2 million people, and expects to create one million more jobs by 2030. Beyond these economic benefits, the creative industries continue to tackle regional inequalities, build communities across the UK, and enable individuals to lead lives that are happier, healthier, more sociable, and enriched through access to culture and creativity

There is enormous potential to go further. Despite their great successes, our creative industries are often under-capitalised, suffer from skills shortages that impede growth, and are hampered by a lack of diversity and unequal access to the opportunities that organisations and individuals need to reach their full potential. While talent and creativity can be found everywhere, access to the money, markets and networks needed to succeed cannot. The result is lost opportunities for individuals and communities as well as a cost to the national economy.

This 10-point manifesto outlines our statement of intent, and aims to drive inclusive growth and innovation across towns, cities and rural areas, in every nation and region throughout the UK. It builds on the landmark Creative Industries Sector Deal, agreed by government with the Creative Industries Council working with the Creative Industries Federation and others.

UNLOCK INCLUSIVE GROWTH

1. Tackle regional inequality head-on by launching a £1bn Cultural and Creative Industries Investment Bank to support the flourishing of creative enterprises in regions that need it the most. The Bank would be sector-specific and regionally focussed, delivering a range of financial products targeted at the different levels of need – some finance on a commercial basis and some as repayable grants to spark early-stage innovation and support more diverse, sustainable business models.

2. Eradicate the sector’s regional productivity gap by ensuring that all early-stage creative enterprises and freelancers – wherever they are based – can access the specialist business support they need to thrive. Give Devolved Authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships, Growth Hubs and sub-sector support organisations access to evidence, expertise and signposting on what’s out there, what works and where the gaps are.

3. Give creative, talented people the space to work and perform by cutting business rates for cultural, music and heritage spaces that host them and supporting new and independent venues. Ensure local and combined authorities are resourced to do this by implementing the devolution of powers to support creative clusters in all parts of the UK. These powers could include, for example, upgrades to infrastructure through to business rate relief to attract creative start-ups.

4. Guarantee cultural access for all by ensuring a significant real term increase of national and local public investment in culture and the arts. Public investment into the UK’s arts and culture unlocks social, reputational and economic value throughout the creative industries and beyond. Access to EU funding must be maintained or matched by investment from UK Government.

DEVELOP A 21ST CENTURY WORKFORCE

5. Establish a Future Workforce Commission, convening key industries, government, education providers, devolved nations and regions to ensure the UK remains at the cutting edge of creativity and innovation. The World Economic Forum recognises creativity as one of the three most important skills for every nation’s future growth. As an immediate action, ensure creative freelancers and future workers have every opportunity to thrive by establishing a Freelancer and Self-Employment Commissioner to address late payment and provide broader social support.

6. Equip the next generation for the future of work by putting creative education at the heart of the school curriculum and ensuring sufficient resources to deliver accessible extra-curricular creative activities to students from all backgrounds, reflecting the recommendations of the Durham Commission. Metrics beyond salary are also urgently needed to capture the true value of creative education. Wider measures such as social value, creative achievements, and civic contribution must be recognised. The devolved nations have gone a long way to recognising the importance of both STEM and creative skills to our economy and society.

7. Open up access to the sector, diversify workforces, and ensure that every young person has the opportunity to pursue a creative career by backing and extending the Creative Careers Programme. To date, more than £12m of industry in-kind support has been leveraged to reach 2 million young people by March 2020. This should be accompanied by reforming the apprenticeship levy so that creative industries employers of all sizes, including SMEs, can attract diverse talent, better target skills gaps, and support a broader range of training opportunities.

ENSURE GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS

8. Advance the UK’s creative industries’ world-leading status by giving the sector a far greater say over what they value in international workers and introducing a dedicated Freelance Visa for international freelancers. Our ongoing success relies on our ability to attract creative talent from all around the world for work that is often dynamic and project-based. This must be accompanied by negotiating a Touring Visa with the European Union to enable UK creators, musicians, artists and crews to perform and undertake business across the EU post-Brexit.

9. Boost creative exports and guarantee economic returns to the UK and its creators by maintaining a robust and properly enforced Intellectual Property regime. Copyright protection for both creative organisations and individuals must be at the heart of any negotiated Future Trade Agreements. Trade in creative services has more than doubled between 2010 and 2017, and through the Creative Industries Trade and Investment Board the sector has committed to increasing its export value by 50% by 2023.

10. Introduce a Sustainability Innovation Challenge to enable our world-leading creativity to help tackle the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, taking action on climate change, health and wellbeing, inequality, and more. Investment should incentivise collaboration between the creative industries and other sectors, and the use of emerging tech. To ensure the UK remains a global leader in innovation, make creative and tech R&D far more accessible. Advanced technologies play a key role in encouraging growth and innovation in the creative industries.

To read the manifesto in full, visit here.

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