The UK’s creative industries contributed to more than £101 billion to the economy in 2017, which is the equivalent to £11.5 million per hour.

CBI Director-General Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, Secretary for Digital and Sport Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP and Sir Peter Bazalgette will launch the CBI’s newest creative industries report ‘Centre Stage’ at ITV in London on Wednesday. 80% of creative industries firms are fearful that they will lose their world-leading reputation, post-Brexit; the Government must take further steps to keep the sector’s crown gleaming brightly internationally.

The CBI report recommends that the Government should:

  1. Ensure that immigration and skills policies are crafted with the creative industries in mind
  2. Increase efforts to profile smaller creative businesses on international trade missions
  3. Ensure economic harms such as copyright infringement and piracy are included in its approach to internet regulation.

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn DBE, CBI Director-General, said:

“This report shines a spotlight on the vibrancy and strength of the UK’s creative industries. Firms in the creative industries contribute more than the oil and gas, automotive and aerospace sectors combined.  It’s one of the few sectors that is more resilient to automation and can boost productivity.

“Aside from the economic benefit, the creative sector is a force for good.  It has the ability to unite people in an increasingly polarised world, from the millions of people across the country that sit down together daily to watch the best of British TV, to the work our public service broadcasting does in tackling misinformation and ‘fake news’.

“The creative industries can be a catalyst for regional growth, by playing a central role in regenerating post-industrial towns. Channel 4’s new HQ in Leeds or BBC’s move to Salford – are driving in investment, creating jobs and attracting people into the local area.

“But a range of challenges – increasing international competition, copyright infringements and Brexit uncertainty, is now putting pressure on this sector. Successive interventions by Government in the past have helped this sector grow, flourish and prosper. This is what’s needed again.”

On the challenges UK creative industries face, Carolyn said:

“Across Government, policies around education, immigration and global regulation should be built with this critical sector in mind. Creativity must be considered equally important to numeracy and literacy in all schools. While domestic talent is important, the creative industries also relies on overseas talent, with 1 in 3 workers in visual effects for TV and film from Europe. Any post-Brexit immigration strategy must not restrict the sector’s ability to recruit and retain people.

“The creative industries punch well above their weight internationally, and as other countries seek to emulate the UK’s success, the Government must further invest in this sector and implement world-leading copyright protections. Otherwise we risk falling behind our European counterparts post-Brexit.”

CBI recommendations include: 

Evolve Government policies with the creative industries in mind

  • Apprenticeship levy – 42% of levy payers in the creative industries use less than 11% of their levy funds. The Apprenticeship Levy has demonstrated that a one-size-fits-all approach does not work, especially for this sector. The Government should fulfil its commitment to publicly consult on Apprenticeship Levy options after 2020.
  • Immigration system – The £30k earnings threshold would negatively impact this sector. Any new post-Brexit immigration system must meet the needs of the sector and ensure it is able to continue to hire workers from the EU; including self-employed and freelance workers.
  • Maintain crucial funding to the Creative sector post-Brexit – Between 2014 and 2020, €89.5 million was invested in the UK’s creative industries through Creative Europe funding – directly benefiting 376 organisations. It is not yet clear how the Government intends to replace EU funding after Brexit. The Government must match this funding so that vital funding levels are maintained.

Increasing efforts to profile smaller creative businesses across the sector on Government international trade missions

  • By coordinating sector-specific trade delegations to relevant international markets
  • And raising the quality and consistency of Government assistance provided to these firms around the world.

Business and Government must work together to shape global internet regulation 

  • The Government must fulfil its commitment to consult creative industries firms on the impact of copyright infringement and piracy and outline what steps policymakers can take to protect the sector internationally.


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