3. Cultural and creative sectors
Last update: March, 2020
The Government White Paper on Heritage Protection for the 21st Century published in 2007 proposed the first widespread overhaul of the heritage protection system in England and Wales for almost 25 years. However, it was to be December 2017 before the next significant heritage policy initiative was to be announced when the then Department of Culture, Media and Sport issued a Heritage Statement, which set out government priorities for heritage and sought to link the heritage agenda to wider agendas and strategies for industry, regeneration and placemaking, for skills and for the environment. In December 2018, DCMS published a Heritage Statement: One Year On, which charted the progress that had been made and built on the Government White Paper on Culture (see chapters 1.1. and 2.1). The focus is primarily on England, noting in particular developments in placemaking, making heritage available to everyone and on the sustainability and resilience of the sector.
Historic England is a government non-departmental public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s historic environment. Its official name is the Historic Building and Monuments Commission for England and until 2015 it was commonly known as English Heritage, when its functions were divided and English Heritage became a separate charity (see below). Among the priorities in Historic England’s Corporate Plan 2019-22: Building the future are protecting historic places, expanding the digital availability of heritage assets and bringing heritage into mainstream life. Historic England’s flagship project, Heritage Action Zones, seeks to unlock the untapped potential in areas rich in uncelebrated heritage and re-energising historic places for the benefit of residents, and to attract tourists, businesses, investors and create economic growth. As part of this, the Government has initiated a GB£ 95million scheme to regenerate high streets by encouraging arts, cultural and community organisations to transform underused or disused buildings and sites into creative and cultural spaces and other uses as a contribution to wider urban improvements. Historic England is also undertaking research on the development of economic valuation techniques to better understand the value attributed to the heritage.
English Heritage has responsibility for the care and conservation of more than 400 historic buildings, monuments and sites and seeks to be financially independent by 2022-23. It received a one-off GB£ 80 million from Government when it was split into two, and established as a charity.
The National Trust conserves and maintains for public access some 330 historic houses, parks and gardens and their collections, as well as 775 miles of coastline and 248,000 hectares of land. It is funded through public membership with over five million members and more than 60,000 volunteers in 2017-18.
The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) helps people protect and conserve the built historic environment through training schemes, advice, research and grants. It trains architects and building craftspeople to restore buildings with sensitivity and has a statutory role as adviser to local planning authorities.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund provides grants for any type of heritage project from GB£ 3,000 to GB£ five million. Funding decisions for these have been devolved to committees/senior staff in Wales, and three regions in England (as well as Scotland and Northern Ireland). Awards above GB£ five million are decided by its Board of Trustees through competition. There is a new focus on nature, communities and access to the heritage. In conjunction with Arts Council England it is funding the Great Place Scheme, capitalizing on local physical and cultural assets to help put culture at the heart of communities (see chapter 2.7).
Recent years have proved a difficult period for local museums. Faced by a reduction of more than 40% in their funding allocation from central government, local authorities have adopted various measures to save money on their museum and gallery services, including closing museums or reducing opening hours, reducing staff levels, increasing charges for services or merging with other local government services. In a few instances local councils have even sold museum items at auctions, which provoked heritage bodies and ACE to warn they will no longer be prepared to co-operate with them.
In 2017 DCMS published The Mendoza Review: an independent review of museums in England, many of whose recommendations were subsequently published in a Strategic review of DCMS-sponsored museums. The latter examined the 15 arms-length museums and the British Library to examine their functions, effectiveness, efficiency and accountability in the context of the wider-ranging Mendoza Review. The Strategic Review confirmed that DCMS would ask these bodies to contribute to a Partnership Framework to ensure their expertise is shared across England and that access to the national collections is increased beyond their premises. There were more than 47 million visits to the national museums in 2016/17, including over 22 million from overseas, and in the same year the 16 made loans to more than 4,000 venues, 1,356 of which were in the UK. Together these national bodies received GB£ 981.6 million in 2016/17 of which GB£ 437 million was grant aid from DCMS. The Strategic review called on them to make year on year savings of 1%.
Arts Council England supports museums through grants and, for the first time, 66 museums were included in its list of National Portfolio Organisations that are receiving multi-year funding between 2018-2022. The Designation Scheme, administered by ACE, exists to recognise pre-eminent cultural collections of national and international importance and ensure they are safeguarded. Since 1997 the scheme has identified the foremost collections held by non-national museums, libraries and archives across England. In 2016 ACE published a review of the scheme, Pearls and Wisdom, setting out its future and highlighting case studies. Other schemes relating to museums, galleries and the heritage administered by ACE are the Acceptance in Lieu Scheme, whereby donations of cultural objects are accepted for the nation, instead of tax duties payable on the death of the owner (see chapter 4.1.4), and the Reviewing Committee of the Export of Works of Arts and Objects of Cultural Value, which makes judgements on what objects purchased for overseas should be saved for the nation by delaying export for six months to provide an opportunity to raise sufficient funds to acquire them (see chapter 4.2.2). A Government Indemnity Scheme provides cost-free indemnity cover to non-national museums and galleries in the UK borrowing art/cultural objects for exhibition to protect items from loss or damage while on short or long-term loan. In offering this alternative to the high cost of commercial insurance, the intention is to enable organisations to display artworks that might not otherwise have been shown. The Scheme does not cover national museums and galleries.
The Art Fund is a charity that can provide museums or galleries with funds for acquisitions and support towards the exhibition and touring of art, as well as support for the training and development of curators. It campaigns and administers public appeals when a significant work of art is threatened by export and it promotes museums and galleries through the National Art Pass admission discount scheme.
CyMal: Museums, Archives and Libraries Wales, established in 2004 as a policy division of the Welsh Government, is responsible for furthering the development of local museums, archives and library services in Wales. In 2010, the Welsh Government launched A Museums Strategy for Wales, its first, which focused on three aims for 2010-2015: museums for everyone, a collection for the nation and working effectively.
Last update: March, 2020
It is 20 years since the New Labour Government sought to establish a national policy on archives and records management when, in 1999, it published Principles of Government Policy on Archives. This noted the role played by archive repositories in the management of current records and the selection of historical archives and acknowledged the need to develop a cross-sectoral agenda with archives forging closer links to museums and libraries. Although the emphasis was on the effectiveness and economy of a policy for England in particular, there were aspects relevant to the UK as a whole.
The National Archives, a non-ministerial department, is the official archive and publisher for the UK Government and for England and Wales. It collects and preserves the national collection in its care for posterity. It provides additional services for Wales in its capacity as the National Archives of Wales.
The British Newspaper Archive is a partnership between the British Library and the organisation ’Findmypast‘, which is digitising up to 40 million newspaper pages held by the BL.
773 public libraries and book lending services have been closed between 2010 and 2019 according to The Guardian of 16th January 2020 (’Britain has closed almost 800 libraries since 2010, figures show’). This represents almost one-fifth o the UK’s libraries according to the Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). In a press release (6th December 2019) CIPFA said that the context for this was a 29.6% decline on expenditure due to government austerity policies. Many public libraries are only kept open because of volunteers, the number of which have more than. doubled to more than 51,000 to help make up for the loss of many library posts. Between 2010/11 and 2016/17 book stock for lending in libraries was estimated to have fallen by 17.7%. Moreover, a lot of school libraries are being closed or levels of service reduced in England and Wales due to local authority budgetary constraints.
The British Library is the national library of the UK with more than 170 million items. Publishers are obliged to make a legal deposit to the Library of a copy of every UK publication (as well as to five major libraries in the UK). One of those libraries, the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, has an extensive collection of books, newspaper, manuscripts, maps, film and photographs.
In its role as the national development agency for libraries, Arts Council England seeks to promote libraries to national and local government and strengthen the quality and respect libraries have as cultural hubs and through National Lottery Project Grants. ACE has assumed responsibility from DCMS for the Libraries Taskforce until March 2020. The Taskforce was established to deliver the recommendations of the Independent Library Report for England of 2014. In its Corporate Priorities 2018-20 ACE has a lead role in one of the key recommendations of the Independent Library Report: the development of a single digital presence in public libraries (which it will undertake in partnership with the British Library and Carnegie UK Trust). It also partners the Chartered Institute for Library and Information Professionals and the Society of Chief Librarians in the delivery of the Public Libraries Skills Strategy 2017-2030. The Skills Strategy makes recommendations on attracting, retaining and developing talent, targeting diversity, investing in professional skills, promoting leadership, and lowering the barrier for entry to the profession.
Last update: March, 2020
A report on The Interdependence of Public and Private Finance in British Theatre (Heatherington, S.) was published by Arts Council Englandin partnership with Birmingham Hippodrome and the Theatres Trust in 2015. Although the report estimated that public funds represent only around 14% of total income in the theatre sector, it said it was essential to enable theatres to experiment and reduce risk, and support the industry’s infrastructure and attract private sector funding. The author warns that if public subsidy continues to decrease, theatre producers/operators may be disinclined to take risks in programming.
ACE’s investment in theatre accounted for about GB£ 300 million between 2015-18, which represented about 30% of expenditure on its National Portfolio Organisations. In addition, other grants and funds benefit theatre. Moreover, between 2012-2018 ACE committed c. GB£ 100 million in capital funds for theatre buildings. In 2015 ACE commissioned an analysis of the theatre landscape from the Burns Owen Partnership and Graham Devlin Associates. The resulting report, Analysis of Theatre in England, published by the Council in 2016, provided a basis for ACE’s priorities for theatre. ACE identified a number of proposals to strengthen the theatre sector. These are investing in up to three new ‘producing hubs’ outside London that will test a place-based approach to supporting risk-taking, and developing talent and audiences. It will also increase the range of leadership and workforce programmes and explore ways of improving the diversity of senior executive appointments. ACE will seek to strengthen touring and supporting risk by, for example, the possible development of a ‘guarantee against loss’ scheme, and it intends to work with others on action research projects to explore approaches to building cross-over audiences for both live and live-to-digital theatre.
Ticket sales for public and private theatre in the UK 2018 were assessed at 34 million on the basis of data from UK Theatre and the Society of London Theatre. Ticket revenue was GB£ 1.28 billion from 62,945 performances. In 2018, there were 296,000 jobs in the music, performing arts and visual arts sectors. This constitutes a 4.9% increase from 2017 and a 39% increase from 2011.
An All-Party Parliamentary Group for Theatre has been established to support the resilience and relevance of theatre in the UK for audiences, society and the industry, as well as identify and discuss potential opportunities and issues for theatre. The group also intends to assist Members of Parliament to have a greater understanding of theatre and the performing arts industry.
A major issue for theatre in general and commercial theatre in particular have been the considerable increases in business rates applied by local authorities in England and Wales. Business rates are based on an assessment of a property’s rateable value and depend on the size and location of the site. The increase, applicable from April 2017, was the first re-evaluation of such rates since 2010. Most non-profit theatres avoided the full impact of the increase because they are registered charities, which entitles them to rates relief.
UK Theatre, formerly the Theatrical Management Association, is the principal membership body for theatre and performing arts organisations in the UK. It offers advocacy, advice including legal guidance, negotiation and contracts with trade unions, as well as organising training, conferences and events (e.g. the annual UK Theatre Awards). The Society of London Theatre (SOLT) represents the interests of producers, theatre owners and managers in London’s theatre industry. It encourages theatregoing by, for example, discounted theatre ticketing, theatre tokens and a ’Kids Week’. It also provides advice on employment matters, manages collective bargaining with the entertainment unions, collects data and organises events such as the annual Olivier Awards. The Theatres Trust is the national advisory public body for theatre set up by government in 1976 to promote better protection of theatre buildings in the UK. It has a statutory right to be consulted on theatre in the planning system.
ACE’s goals for dance in its 2018-20 Corporate priorities are to investigate how the sector can maximise available support networks and develop career progression routes in South Asian dance, urban genres and new technologies. It also seeks to ensure there is a more even distribution of the dance infrastructure and undertake research on the current landscape for the independent dance sector.
One Dance UK supports professionals working in the dance sector to achieve excellence, whether in performance, education or management, and is an advocate for enhancing the profile of dance. It seeks to improve the health and wellbeing of dancers and improve conditions for dance to be learnt. It offers the Level 3 Award in supporting the delivery of Dance Education in School Sport.
Last update: March, 2020
Research commissioned by Arts Council Englandinto the Livelihoods of Visual Artists revealed that artists earn an average of GB£16,150 per year but only GB£6,020 of this is derived from their art practice. Indeed, two-thirds earn less than GB£5,000 from their art. The research findings, undertaken in 2016, suggest little has changed to address the historical reality that the majority of artists need to take other employment to supplement their income (see chapter 2.3).
Another issue for artists has been the loss of studios and creative workspaces due to rent increases as a result of rising land and property values. The problem has been particularly acute in London. A 2016 report, Making Space: Developing and Sustaining Affordable Artists’ Studios and Creative Workspaces suggests artists are being forced to relocate to other cities often driven out, ironically, of areas they have helped to regenerate. Another report, Creative tensions: Optimising the benefits of culture through regeneration, released a year later by the London Assembly Regeneration Committee, suggests that as many as 3,500 artists could lose their workspace in the Capital due to the “gentrification” of some districts fuelling property rises that artists can no longer afford. The report was a contribution to the development of the Strategic Plan for London.
ACE’s priorities for the visual arts in its Corporate priorities 2018-20 are to support the sector to maximise the Government’s Museums and Galleries Tax relief scheme to promote touring exhibitions nationally and internationally, and to collaborate with heritage and other non-arts agencies to facilitate new commissioning opportunities. It will also be managing change to the Arts Council Collection of important contemporary British art, as well as reviewing support for disabled artists.
Policy priorities of the Arts Council of Wales in 2019 for those of its portfolio organisations in the visual and applied arts include: creating innovative work of the highest quality and relevant to audiences; presenting programmes that reflect best practice; developing strong public engagement programmes and audience development work; forging strategic partnerships, particularly for touring, co-commissioning, developing international work and supporting talent and professional development; being financially sustainable; and operating to a high standard of governance and leadership.
All public sculpture in UK museums, galleries, public squares and parks etc. in towns and cities are being put on what is believed to be the world’s first free online database of such work by Art UK. A lottery grant of GB£2.8 million will enable ART UK to catalogue some 170,000 works by 2020. The organisation has previously digitised over 200,000 oil paintings from the national collections.
A Government Indemnity Scheme provides free insurance cover for galleries and museums borrowing art for exhibition (see chapter 3.1).
a-n The Artists Information Company is the largest artist membership organisation in the UK and a sector specific support organisation funded by ACE for 2018-22. It seeks to stimulate and support contemporary visual arts practice and the value of artists in society through advocacy and information. Artquest uses research about the working conditions of visual artists, career obstacles etc. to develop the professional information and advice they need. The Art Fund is a charity that makes grants to museums and galleries especially for art acquisitions (see chapter 3.1).
Estimates of the size and value of the crafts sector differ considerably between the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and that produced from research by the Crafts Council. DCMS Economic Estimates, June 2019, estimated the number of crafts jobs in the UK creative industries in 2018 to be 10,000. The largest number of crafts jobs are outside the creative industries, a figure that DCMS estimated to be 88,000 in 2014, but no longer publishes. However, research published by the Crafts Council, Measuring the Craft Economy, of March 2015, put the total employed in crafts in the UK to be 182,860. According to DCMS the crafts contribution in Gross Value Added to the UK economy in 2017 was GB£298 million, but using different assessment approaches, the Crafts Council estimated that businesses involved in the crafts industry contributed GB£746 million in GVA, with an additional GB£243 million generated by craft occupations in other creative industries and GB£2.41 billion of GVA generated by craft occupations in non-creative enterprises. This suggests very different approaches to defining what a crafts job is and measuring the sector. The DCMS Economic Estimates referred to previously indicate that craft goods worth GB£4.84 billion were exported from the UK in 2017.
The Crafts Council was granted a Royal Charter in 1982 ‘to advance and encourage the creation and conservation of works of fine craftsmanship and to foster, promote and increase the interest of the public […] and the accessibility of those works to the public in England and Wales’. It is funded via ACE and also generates income from its activities, including its annual COLLECT trade fair. The Crafts Council Collection has more than 1,600 objects of contemporary craft. In 2019, the Council published an Exploratory study into social enterprise and craft in conjunction with Wrexham Glyndwr University, which seeks to extend understanding of the power of crafts to transform communities. It has also contracted consultants Morris Hargreaves McIntyre to undertake a study of the UK market for craft, with eight other partners including the Arts Council of Wales.
Last update: March, 2020
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).
Last update: March, 2020
The Publishers Association is the industry body representing the interests of book and journal printers. According to its data, UK publishing income in 2018 was GB£ 6 billion, assisted by growth in digital sales, which offset a decrease in traditional book sales. There was a significant increase in audiobook sales income, which grew by 43% to GB£ 69 million in 2018. Journal sales were also up to reach GB£ 2 billion. There are more than 3,200 consumer magazine titles in the UK. Overseas markets remain important for UK publishers, accounting for 59% of totals sales income in 2018, and the UK remains the largest exporter of published books in the world. It is also the world leader in academic publishing. There are an estimated 199,000 jobs in the publishing and print sector in the UK. The Publishers Association has campaigned with others for the removal of 20% VAT imposed on digital format publishing (publications in print format are zero-rated) and the new Government has indicated it will be removed by December 2020.
There are a number of book fairs and literary festivals in England and Wales, e.g. the London International Book Fair and the Hay Festival.
Authors, illustrators, translators and editors can receive royalties for loans from public libraries of their books through the Public Lending Right Scheme (see chapter 4.1.6). The Arts Councils of England and Wales provide grants for writers. ACE will also implement the recommendations of its response to the Camelo report, Literature in the 21st Century: Understanding Models of Support for Literary Fiction, to include growing its support for small/independent publishers of literary fiction and bolstering reader development through establishing a working relationship with the network of independent bookshops.
The Society of Authors is a trade union for writers, illustrators and literary translators that campaigns and lobbies on issues that affect writers. It also administers grants and prizes for authors and administers some literary estates. The Book Trust is the largest reading charity in the UK, reaching an estimated 3.9 million children annually with books, resources and support to stimulate a love of reading and literature. It works in schools, libraries and children’s societies to reach families in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The National Literary Trust is a charity focussing on improving the reading, writing and speaking skills in the poorest communities in the UK. The Poetry Society closed in 2016 after 50 years of operation due to funding cuts.
Literature Across Frontiers is the European Platform for Literary Exchange, Translation and Policy Debate, based at the Mercator Institute for Media, Languages and Culture at Aberystwyth University, Wales. Its report Publishing translated literatures in the United Kingdom and Ireland 1990-2012, published in 2015, provided for the first time reliable data and statistics on the extent of publishing of translations in those countries. It confirms the low amount of published English translations of foreign language books compared with several other European countries, though a steady growth is discernible.
Although newspapers continue to lose readers who receive their news coverage online, they still remain an important course of information (albeit filtered through the lens of particular political viewpoints), especially for older generations.
Last update: March, 2020
In 2018 there were an estimated 245,000 jobs in TV, film, video, radio and photography (the classification grouping used by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for statistical purposes) in the UK, which represented a 16.5% increase in this sector between 2011 and 2018(DCMS Sectors Economic Estimates, June 2019). The value of the audiovisual services in this category was GB£ 7.7 billion in 2017 and the export of goods amounted to GB£ 650 million (DCMS Sectors Economic Estimates – Trade, August 2019).
The UK film production industry has been growing since the late 1990s assisted by National Lottery Funding and tax incentives. According to the British Film Institute (BFI), production spending on film and TV in the UK was GB£ 3.1 billion in 2018, the second highest figure. Some GB£ 1.9 billion of this related to films backed by major US films studios. A total of 202 films went into production that year (131 of which were domestic UK films).
The BFI supports and invests in UK film and filmmakers and promotes film through festivals and the National Film Theatre and Imax cinema in London. Although, on its own admission, its financial contribution is a relatively modest part of the overall film landscape, it is an important enabler and plays a major role in film education and culture, and in conservation of the film and TV heritage. BFI 2022 is the Institute’s strategic plan for 2018-2022 focussing on developing talent, learning and audiences. Among its strategy targets is the launch of a new model to provide quick funding for low-budget and debut films and piloting a GB£ 10 million Enterprise Fund to provide repayable working capital for innovative projects being developed by smaller companies. It will work with Screen Skills (formerly Creative Skillset) on a 10-year strategy to deliver an adequately funded skills framework. The BFI’s focus on building audiences includes growing the engagement of 16-30 year olds with British independent and specialised film.
The remit of the British Film Commission (BFC)is: to support the production of major international film and high-end TV in the UK; strengthen and promote the UK film and TV infrastructure; and liaise between government and the film and TV industry to secure film-friendly policies. The BFC provides a range of production support and advice services, e.g. sourcing studios, film locations, crew and talent, guidance on tax relief, regulation and permits etc. It is funded by DCMS, via the BFI, and by the Department for International Trade.
In 2019 the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee of the National Assembly of Wales published a report on its Inquiry into Film and Major Television Production in Wales which called on the Government to publish a strategy indicating how it proposed to build a sustainable Welsh screen industry. The report recommends how the Government should balance inward investment, indigenous growth and the provision of skills support. Among other things, the report makes recommendations on the need for Welsh Language TV Channel S4C to set out priorities for commissioning Welsh language films and on the need for government support for film festivals. The importance of Welsh Screen industry representation on international trade missions is also stressed.
Unlike the press where regulation appears weak, the operations of the public broadcasting sector in general and the BBC in particular is fairly strictly controlled. For some years, it has been evident that some government ministers and politicians have been keen to reduce the cost and size of the BBC, turning over some of the services it provides to commercial enterprises. A Green Paper, published in 2015 in advance of the renewal of the BBC’s Charter, set out options for changing the financing of the BBC and reforming the Licence Fee that provides the resources for the BBC to operate.
The Government had already cut the financing of the BBC World Service by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and required the BBC to absorb the c. GB£ 200 million cost in 2014 with no transfer of funds. It had also required the Corporation from June 2020 to take over from government the cost of providing free licence fees for people aged 75 years and over that had been introduced in 2001. With the prospect of having to meet this cost of cGB£ 745 million, representing around 20% of its budget, the BBC has announced that it will have to scrap free TV radio licenses by the year 2021-22.
This led to a lot of criticism of the BBC by some right-wing media. Many celebrities and the left-wing media have come to the defence of the BBC, pointing out that government ministers are behaving as though they own the Corporation, whereas it is owned by the public who pay the licence fee. The Government has denied that it is biased against the BBC. Nevertheless, voices within the newly elected Government have indicated that the compulsory licence fee will be axed and replaced by a subscription service when the BBC Charter comes up for renewal in 2027. Inevitably this would have a major impact on BBC operations. According to Government sources this would be in line with changing public viewing and listening habits, with young people in particular preferring Netflix and You Tube rather than traditional TV channels
In the audiovisual sector there are considerable anxieties about the impact of Brexit and the nature of any deal the Government negotiates with the EU. A report on The Impacts of leaving the EU on the UK’s screen sector by Oxera, prepared for The Screen Sector Task Force in 2017, identified the many risks of the UK’s exit. Particular concerns are losing market flexibility and productivity due to restriction on labour movement, and losing the ability to broadcast channels from the UK to the rest of the EU (a number of companies from the USA and elsewhere base themselves in the UK for this purpose and could find a new location). Losing access to finance from the EU is also a concern. The BFI indicated that the MEDIA programme (now a strand of Creative Europe) had invested GB£ 120.3 million up to 2018 and screen-related projects were recipients of GB£ 79.6 million from the European Regional Development Fund, while research and innovation funds such as Horizon 2020 had invested GB£ 71.5 million in the UK (see also chapter 2.9). The 2018 Government White Paper on the UK’s future relationship with the EU indicated that UK productions will continue to contribute to European audiovisual quotas. However, there are industry concerns that the UK Government may trade away this right in any trade deal with the USA or other countries, as reported by Andy McDonald in Television Business International.
Last update: March, 2020
Music by Numbers, the annual report of the industry lead body UK Music reported that the value for Britain’s live music sector in 2018 was GB£ 1.1 billion. Exports of British music (sales and tickets for UK arts overseas) were worth GB£ 2.7 billion. If money spent by music tourists on food and accommodation in the UK is included, the overall contribution to the UK economy was GB£ 5.2 billion in 2018. UK Music said that 139,352 people were employed in 2018 as musicians, composers, songwriters, lyricists, producers and engineers. However, income in 2018 from the music profession for many averaged GB£ 23,059 according to the Office for National Statistics, which was considerably below the national average salary.
The Musicians Union reported that 44% of orchestral musicians in the UK say they no longer earn enough to live on and the Union warned that talented performers are increasingly being forced to abandon their careers. Music training is expensive with young musicians typically spending around GB£ 80,000 including tuition fees and student loans, but after qualifying those focussing on a classical music career may only earn around GB£ 21,000 p.a. Furthermore, 43% of musicians who have been in the profession for five years or less have taken unpaid work to gain experience. Research conducted in 2017 by universities in Newcastle, Edinburgh and Turku (Finland) into live music generally in the UK, its economic contribution, ticket reselling and audiences also confirmed large numbers of musicians were finding it difficult to earn sufficient income to make their careers financially viable.
A major concern for the live music sector has been the loss of many grassroots music venues in recent years. The number of such venues fell by 34% between 2007-2016. Key factors in this were the revaluation of business rates of venues in 2017 resulting in major increases in some cases, but also because of noise disturbance in the immediate vicinity leading to closures. A Music Venues Taskforce was established by the Mayor of London to look at the impact of these closures on London’s culture and economy. This resulted in a rescue plan recommending how to address current problems. In addition, Arts Council England agreed to provide GB£ 1.5 million from its National Lottery Project Grants to help venues survive. It will work with the Music Venue Trust to assist venues to access the funds. Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee drew attention to the closure of venues in a report into live music. The report urges the music industry to invest in young talent calling on ACE, or a new body supported by the industry, to develop a scheme to encourage music talent and fund the improvement of facilities.
An All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music has been established to inform fellow Members of Parliament about developments in the music industry, as well as engage them in discussion on measures that impact on the music sector.
The focus for music in ACE’s Corporate priorities 2018-20 is on music education and talent development. ACE indicated it will work with the classical music and opera sectors, Music Education Hubs, conservatoires and employers to develop a joint action plan to strengthen the diversity of talent pathways. The Council will also work with Music Education Hubs, national music organisations, Youth Music, its National Portfolio Organisations and Bridge Organisations (i.e. intermediaries between the Hubs and schools) to develop a more joined up approach for music education, as well as utilising recent evidence and studies to develop ambitious plans for music education (see also chapter 5.2).
The Culture, Welsh Language and Communication Committee of the Welsh Assembly launched an inquiry into issues facing the music industry in Wales, including the impact of government policy on the industry, the availability of venues for live music, opportunities for talent development and the impact of digital technologies on the profitability or recorded music. In 2018 the Committee published its findings after conducting another inquiry into funding for and access to music education (Hitting the Right Note). Among its recommendations is that the Welsh Government should transfer responsibility for the delivery of services to an arm’s length national body with a clear regional delivery mechanism and that the Cabinet Secretary for Education should prepare a National Action Plan for Music. It also suggests the Government should establish a permanent advisory group to advise and inform them on all music education matters.
Last update: March, 2020
The Design Council is the leading authority on how to use design principles to improve processes, products and places and was incorporated as a charity by Royal Charter in 1976. In 2011 it ceased to be a non-departmental public body of government, but although independent continued to receive government grants. The same year the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) became a subsidiary of the Design Council. CABE supports communities, local authorities and developers involved in built environment projects by offering design review, customized expert-advice, training and professional development. Design review is an important way of assessing the quality of major new developments, e.g. by identifying weak and inappropriate schemes at an early stage. The Design Council published Design Review: Principles and Practice in 2013.
The Design Council’s programmes are broad in scope, covering the built environment, public sector design and social innovation, and business innovation, and are delivered by experienced independent specialists. These seek to demonstrate how design supports creativity and innovation and include challenging programmes that bring designers together from different disciplines to tackle a range of issues (e.g. Design Against Crime). The Design Council trains undergraduates through its Design Academy programme and also helps universities to capitalise on their research base and take projects to market.
The campaign DesignCAN was launched in 2019 calling for the design industry to be more inclusive. It is critical of an industry that would not reflect the world it serves and it calls on the industry to champion and commission underrepresented talent.
The Design Commission for Wales was established by the National Assembly to promote good design by working with local planning authorities, developers and clients, and nurturing design talent.
Architecture is a regulated profession and, once qualified, architects have to register with the Architects Registration Board. The main professional body is the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), while the Architectural Association administers the oldest training school, which is one of the most prestigious in the world. A review of the UK’s architecture and built environment policy in 2014 - The Farrell Review of Architecture and the Built Environment – commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, called for a new proactive approach to the planning system by anticipating needs and opportunities and looking at places in their entirety rather than simply individual buildings and their design. The review concluded that a formal architecture policy (as in Scotland and Northern Ireland) was not required in England. Instead it argued for better connection between government departments. Subsequently, architecture policy was transferred from DCMS to the Department for Communities and Local Government.
In 2018 many UK architects criticised the government for establishing a Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission (BBBB) to improve design of homes and places, arguing that it was a retrograde step that would promote deeply conservative tastes. Their ire was provoked especially by the choice of its first chairman, the right-wing writer and philosopher Roger Scruton, an outspoken critic of contemporary architects. Scruton was sacked over controversial comments not long afterwards, then re-instated as co-chair, but has since died.
The fashion industry is the largest UK creative industry employing almost 800,000 people in fashion, textiles and fashion retail according to some reports. The largest percentage of employees work in retail. The British Fashion Council (BFC) is the industry’s lead body and reported that fashion was worth GB£ 32.3 billion to the UK GDP in 2018. It published a detailed report on The Value of the UK Fashion Industry in conjunction with Oxford Economics in 2015. The UK is often considered to be the world leader in fashion education and London Fashion Week is one of the major international fashion festivals. In 2018 the Exceptional Talent category of Tier 1 visas to the UK was extended to fashion designers and the BFC is the independent assessor for visa applications for the industry.
The fashion industry is especially concerned about the implications of Brexit on talent recruitment and skill shortages in some areas, on trade and the movement of goods, components and samples, and the consequences for intellectual property once the UK is outside the EU (see chapter 2.9).
Last update: March, 2020
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport in 2011 issued a report on Government Tourism Policies, which emphasised the importance of tourism to the UK representing one of its biggest industries and then accounting for almost GB£ 90 billion each year. In the wide-ranging report the Government indicated its intention to fund a GB£ 100 million marketing campaign (the GREAT Britain Campaign) to attract visitors to the UK, improve the sector’s productivity and increase the proportion of UK residents who holiday in the UK. Perhaps surprisingly, especially considering the source of the report, it was rather weak on culture and cultural tourism, even though regular surveys of overseas visitors indicate that for many tourists the UK’s culture and heritage is the main reason for their visit.
An Arts Council England report on The Value of Arts and Culture to the People and Society indicated that engagement with arts and culture from inbound tourism in 2011 represented 42% of such tourist expenditure. An emphasis on ‘bringing the tourism and culture worlds together’ is found in Take a Closer Look: A cultural tourism vision for London 2015-17, produced by the Greater London Authority that refers to the capital’s cultural assets. ACE and Visit England announced a new partnership in 2013 to boost cultural tourism. A priority in the partnership has been to encourage and support destinations that have the potential to grow and inspire cultural and local economies. Arts Council Lottery Funding of GB£ 3 million has been available to encourage and develop arts and cultural experiences and targeted holiday packages for visitors that include a cultural dimension.
In 2016 the UK Government published a Tourism Action Plan, which identified five priorities: the tourism landscape; boosting skills; examing the scope for deregulation of the industry; facilitating access to transport for visitors; and driving improvements in the visa service. A follow up – the Tourism Action Plan – One Year On, indicating progress on the priorities, was published by DCMS in 2017. The Tourism Action Plan envisaged restructuring of the two principal tourism agencies: Visit Britain, which is responsible for raising Britain’s tourism profile worldwide, increasing the volume and values of tourism exports, and developing Britain’s and England’s visitor economy, and Visit England, which is responsible for marketing England to domestic and established overseas markets and improving England’s tourism product. Both are non-departmental bodies. Subsequently, the Government agreed a Tourism Sector Deal that sets ambitious targets to make the UK the most accessible tourism destination in Europe by 2025, which presents opportunities for heritage destinations to become more inclusive taking into account factors such as age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background.
Visit Wales has tourism responsibilities in relation to Wales. The Welsh Government Strategy for Tourism 2013-2020: Partnerships for Growth sought to grow tourism earnings by 10% by 2020 through promoting a distinctive brand for Wales, development of tourism product and people, utilising new technology and place building.