Since 2007, the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has defined the creative industries in nine categories (reduced from the original 13). These are:
- Advertising & Marketing;
- Design (product, graphic & fashion);
- Film, TV, Video, Radio & Photography;
- IT, Software & Computer Services;
- Museums. Galleries & Libraries;
- Music, Performing & Visual Arts;
These classifications were described as inconsistent in a report published by Nestain 2013 – A Dynamic Mapping of the UK’s Creative Industries (Bakhshi. H, Freeman. A and Higgs. P) in which the authors suggested it should be reclassified on the basis of “creative intensity” to reflect the proportion of sector workers in a specifically creative role.
The number of people employed in creative roles grew faster than the workforce as a whole between 1997-2013 and in 2014 creatives accounted for about 6% of the UK workforce. Workers in the creative sector outnumber those in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) occupations to which the Government places the emphasis in education.
Research from Nesta, The Geography of Creativity in the UK, undertaken in conjunction withCreative England, looked at where creative workers cluster and revealed that they are heavily concentrated in London and South East England. The percentage of creative workers in London is almost three times the national average. Publishing and film in particular are very concentrated in the Capital, whereas crafts and occupations in museums, galleries and libraries are more evenly distributed. One recommendation in Nesta’s report on The Creative Economy and the Future of Employment – the need for government to establish a strategic fund to develop cultural clusters outside the Capital – was picked up in An independent review of the creative industries. The review was commissioned by the Government and led by Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chairman of Independent Television and former Chairman of Arts Council England, and published in 2017. Subsequently, the Government launched a GB£80 million Creative Industries Cluster Programme. Funded by theArts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the initiative includes research and development partnerships between universities and business within existing creative clusters to drive innovation and grow the skills base.
Creative England was established in 2011 to address the financing gap for creative businesses by offering bespoke investments, unsecured loans and mentoring. From 2012 to 2017 it invested more than GB£20 million in over 350 creative businesses. The Creative Industries Council, also established in 2011, is a joint forum between the creative industries and government. Council members are drawn from across the creative and digital industries and are a voice for the sector, indicating to government obstacles to growth the industries face. The Creative Industries Federation (CIF), established in 2015, is an independent membership body that brings the UK’s creative industries, arts and cultural education sectors together to undertake policy work, research and advocacy to support future growth. It has established an International Advisory Council to ascertain and share examples of best practice, policy and innovation in these sectors globally.
In 2018 the Government and the Creative Industries Council agreed a Sector Deal as part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy to unlock growth for creative businesses. Key elements of this are: access to a finance initiative via a British business bank; creation of an industry and government Trade and Investment Board to stimulate exports; support for an industry-led creative careers programme and skills development; a GB£20 million Cultural Development Fund for creative businesses outside London; GB£58 million to harness immersive technologies (i.e. technology that attempts to emulate a physical world through digital means to create a feeling of immersion in a simulated world); GB£64 million for eight university-led creative cluster research and development programmes supported by a new Policy and Evidence Centre (see below); and new codes of practice on copyright infringement. Establishing the Sector Deal appears to have been influenced by the Bazalgette review and reports from Nesta, the Warwick Commission and input from the CIF, CIC and others. It is also evident that this development is driven by industrial interests rather than cultural ones.
A new Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) supported by the AHRC and UK Research and innovation is being established. This will include five research streams involving academia and managed by Nesta that will examine: creative clusters/mapping tools; skills, talent and diversity and supply of talent; intellectual property, business models and access to finance and content regulation; arts, culture and public sector broadcasting; and creative industries and international competitiveness.
Creative & Cultural Skills is the Sector Skills Council for Advertising, Crafts, Cultural Heritage, Design, Music, Performing, Literary and Visual Arts. It is an industry-led organisation that seeks to influence the supply of education and skills across the UK. Creative & Cultural Skills aims to provide a voice for employers of both large and small businesses to ensure there is access to high quality education and skills, as well as increasing the vocational relevance of qualifications on offer and providing students with informed choice on courses and career pathways. The audiovisual sector (including animation and games) is already served by Screen Skills (formerly Creative Skillset), which develops initiatives and programmes to strengthen provision, skills and expertise in this field. Online learning to promote commercial best practice is provided by the Association for Cultural Enterprises, which has launched a Cultural Enterprises Academy
The creative industries are one of the fastest growing sectors in theWelsh economy, albeit from a fairly low base. The growth is especially evident in the Cardiff area, where major companies are located and where higher education institutions, e.g. the University of South Wales, are generating the skills needed by creative businesses. The Gross Value Added of film, video and TV programme production in Wales grew from GB£ 62 million in 2007 to GB£ 200 million in 2017. An inquiry in 2019 into Film and major television production in Wales by theCulture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee ofthe Welsh Assembly called on the Welsh Government to develop a strategy to grow the sector, especially the indigenous Welsh film industry, to enable it to be more financially secure, develop small businesses to take advantage of larger scale productions and identify and mitigate skills gaps. Earlier, in 2016, the Welsh Government published Light springs through the dark: a vision for culture in Wales, which announced its intention to establish a new organisation, Creative Wales, to support the creative industries including the screen sector. However, despite assurances subsequently that it was to be established, the organisation had not been created by Autumn 2019.
The Gross Added Value of the UK creative industries in 2016 was GB£ 91.8 billion. This represented a growth in GVA of 44.8% between 2010 and 2016, compared with UK average growth of 22.1% during the same period. According to DCMS, in 2016 the creative industries were generating GB£ 10.5 million per hour for the UK economy. Between 2011 and 2018 employment in the creative industries grew by 30.6%, compared with a UK average of 10.1% during the period, and by 2018 there were more than 2 million jobs in the sector. The jobs within the creative industries also attracted more diverse ethnicities than other sectors. In 2016 the CI sectors with the biggest value were: IT, software and computer games (GB£ 34.7 billion), Film and TV (GB£ 15.3 billion), Advertising (GB£ 12.3 billion) and Publishing (GB£ 11.6 billion).
REMIX is a major annual event that explores the future of the creative industries (see chapter 2.4).
The major challenge facing the creative industries is Brexit. The CIF surveyed its members and found that more than 90% voted to remain in the EU. The main concerns are the impact on mobility and recruitment of talent, insufficient relevant skills in the domestic labour force especially in relation to new digital developments, loss of access to markets and raising sufficient funds to grow businesses (see chapter 2.9).