Five priorities for the creative industries

Five priorities for the creative industries

By The House of Lords Select Committee on Communications and Digital


The House of Lords Select Committee on Communications and Digital published its report A Creative Future on 27 January 2023. It sets out five priorities to ensure the UK's creative sector can thrive in the face of possible disruption and displacement.

Creative industries contribute billions to the UK economy

The creative industries rank among the world’s fastest-growing sectors. They include areas like film, TV, gaming, performing arts, museums and galleries.

The case for action

The UK has long been seen as a global leader in the creative sector – in economic potential as well as cultural influence. The UK’s creative industries have grown twice as fast as the wider economy in recent years. More than one in eight UK businesses are part of the sector. Much of the growth potential lies in areas that combine technology with creativity.

But rapid technological advances are changing the nature of the creative industries, and international competition is rising.

We looked at what’s needed to ensure the UK’s creative sector can thrive in the face of possible disruption and displacement by new technologies and fast-moving international competitors.

We heard mounting concern that the UK’s success is being taken for granted, and increasingly at risk.

Five priorities for the creative industries

Unless the Government starts taking the sector more seriously, the fundamentals that underpin our success will deteriorate and our competitiveness will decline.

1. Play to our strengths

The creative industries are an economic powerhouse.

The Government should make the sector a key feature of its future growth plans.

2. Stay competitive in Research & Development (R&D)

The UK’s R&D tax system is restrictive, which risks holding back innovation.

The system should be changed to include more of the creative industries. The Government should also benchmark other tax reliefs against other countries to address declining UK competitiveness.

3. Address blind spots in education and skills

Over the next decade there will be a huge demand for workers with a blend of digital and creative skills. The Department for Education needs to wake up to this reality.

It should start by addressing the major decline in Design and Technology GCSEs, improving careers guidance, and changing lazy rhetoric about ‘low value’ arts courses. It must also improve apprenticeship access in the creative sector.

4. Plan for a digital future

The future of the sector is digital. This brings huge opportunities. But new technologies are making it easier and cheaper to find and reproduce pictures, sounds and performances.

We’re calling for a better legal framework to help ensure artists and rights holders don’t lose out. We also need a plan to help the sector adapt to technological disruption, with a particular focus on low-income workers.

5. Fund what works

We fail to understand the rationale for not allocating funding to continue the Creative Industries Clusters Programme. [The Creative Industries Clusters Programme brings together world-class research talent with companies and organisations from across the UK’s four nations in a first-of-its kind research and development investment.] This flagship initiative has far exceeded expectations in promoting innovation, attracting co-investment and delivering SME growth. Co-investment stands at 600% above initial targets.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) should find ways to continue the programme after funding runs out in March 2023.

Read the full report on the House of Lords website.

Find out more about the inquiry and the committee.

Follow them on Twitter @LordsCommsCom

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Resource type: Research | Published: 2023