Creative industries generate £84 billion a year for the UK economy, almost £10m an hour

Their importance shouldn't be overlooked

Christopher Hooton
Thursday 07 July 2016 10:15 BST
Stage 1 at Pinewood Studios
Stage 1 at Pinewood Studios

New government figures have revealed just how important our filmmakers, musicians, artists and other creatives are to our economy, contributing £84 billion a year.

The number of jobs in creative industries has risen nearly 20 per cent since 2011 to 1.9 million, the Department for Culture, Media & Sport revealed this week.

Unfortunately, the announcement is almost certainly a response to Brexit - the government trying to curb the projected decline in revenue following the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

‘What a performance! Stellar employment boom continues for the UK’s Creative Industries’ the headline on the government site screams.

Several film production company chiefs have shared their worries over the future of the industry in the UK, while WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell has said that he will be prioritising employing talent in other European markets.

“The Creative Industries are one of the UK’s greatest success stories, commented Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport John Whittingdale.

“That success is built upon the extraordinary talent which exists in this country, an amazing cultural heritage, the English language and a tax system designed to support and encourage growth in the creative sector.

“None of this is changed by the UK’s decision to leave the EU and I am confident that our creative industries will continue to thrive and take advantage of the new opportunities which are opening up to do business across the world.”

Creative industries’ contribution to the economy is often underestimated, the UK being home to a wealth of creative talent and leading the world in fields like VFX.

The new figures also revealed that diversity is up 45 per cent in the sector, and that dancers and choreographers, artists and programmers and software developers are among the most thriving creative professions.

The Creative Industries Council this week set up a working group to examine the EU referendum outcome.

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