The creative industries can lead post-Brexit economic growth, says council

EU Brexit

The Creative Industries Council (CIC) has proposed a blueprint to the Government for post-Brexit economic growth lead by the creative industries.

CIC, which is a partnership between Government and several trade bodies (including the British Fashion Council as well as bodies representing advertising, TV & film, architecture and design among others), says the prospects for the creative industries remain strong and it has devised a five-year strategy to “cement the UK’s status as a global hub for commercial creativity“.

Called Create Together, the plan outlines:

  • – A five-year plan aiming to grow exports and encourage creative businesses to scale up 
  • Eight key drivers of future growth
  • – The role for creative industries in UK regions

It recommends measures to help grow creative exports to £31bn by 2020, encourage creative businesses to expand, and ensure the UK has a productive and diverse creative workforce.

Despite the creative industries sector having been broadly opposed to Brexit (a pre-referendum survey of British Fashion Council members, for instance, revealed more than 90% opposed to quitting the EU), the CIC says it members believe they are nonetheless well placed to stand up to the challenges presented by the “Leave vote”.

CIC Brexit report
The Create Together report

The organisation is now calling on the Government to ensure that during its exit negotiations the UK remains “able to receive favourable access to the international and digital single market“, as well as ensuring the “people and skills needed” to deliver economic growth continue to have access to the UK.

Official data shows creative jobs and service exports are growing much faster than in the rest of the economy, it says. Creative industries contribute £84.1bn a year to the UK, and almost 2.9m jobs are created by the wider creative community.

“We have long been an engine in delivering economic growth, new jobs and service exports to the UK. We now believe we can be instrumental in shaping the new growth agenda in the post-Brexit world and play an important part in economic development of all parts of the UK,” said CIC Industry co-chair Nicola Mendelsohn CBE.

“We are ready and willing to play our role in the UK’s future strategy and we want to work with government to ensure our world-beating creative organisations thrive in the post-Brexit world,” she added.

Her position was echoed by two senior Government officials. John Whittingdale Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport said the creative industries were one for the country’s “greatest success stories”.

“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,” Whittingdale said.

“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,” added Whittingdale.

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills Sajid Javid said Britain remained “open for business” and needed to make the result of the referendum work. “I am sure the creative industries, with all their talent and entrepreneurial skill, will look to take advantage of these opportunities and this strategy refresh will help deliver growth across the sector going forward,” Javid said.

The full Create Together report can be downloaded here.