Magazine article Screen International

UK Creative Sector Report Calls for £500M Regional Fund

Magazine article Screen International

UK Creative Sector Report Calls for £500M Regional Fund

Article excerpt

Peter Bazalgette report suggests film industry targets.

A newly-published independent review of the creative industries, conducted by ITV chair Peter Bazalgette, has called for the creation of a £500m fund to support the development of the UK’s regions outside of London and the South East.

Peter Bazalgette

The report, commissioned by the UK’s business and culture secretaries, gave former Arts Council England chair Bazalgette a brief to review how the UK’s creative industries can grow the UK economy.

The report claims that the UK’s creative industries could be worth £130bn by 2025 and could add one million new jobs by 2030. It is currently worth nearly £90m and employs more than two million people.

Regions

One of the key findings from the report is that significant potential for growth in the creative industries should be sought in the UK’s regions.

It noted that “around half of the growth and jobs in the [creative industries] sector centred in London and the South East” and while “this should be celebrated” the report suggested that the growth outside of those areas was “too small”.

“The positive story of the UK Creative Industries to date has been achieved despite unequal distribution of opportunities, skills, finance and knowledge,” it said.

Concluding that “we are failing to harness the creative talents of all our communities” the report called for the government to establish a £500m Creative Clusters Fund.

Defining a creative cluster as “a geographic concentration of creative businesses and workers, often linked to similar value chains, that collaborate and compete with each other”, the report suggested that accelerating regional growth through the prism of these clusters would benefit the entire industry.

“I believe strongly that if government can get the leadership, financial, advisory and skills support right for creative clusters then they will deliver a model that solves problems for other significant parts of the economy,” Bazalgette wrote in the report.

“I am recommending a bottom-up process which allows localities, which often have a firmer grasp of their growth potential and needs than central government, to direct policy development,” he added. …

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