Culture can drive economy’s recovery, report shows

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The creative industries can drive the economy’s post-Covid recovery by contributing £132bn ia year n GVA (gross value added) - £28bn more than in 2020 - and creating 300,000 new jobs by 2025, according to new research details published today.

The data from Oxford Economics,The UK Creative Industries: unleashing the power and potential of creativity, commissioned by Creative UK Group (The Creative Industries Federation and Creative England) show the crucial role that the creative industries could have in levelling up the country, creating enough new jobs to employ the working age populations of Hartlepool and Middlesbrough twice over. Wales and the North East are projected to be the slowest to recover.

But new investment is essential, emphasised the group’s chief executive Caroline Norbury (pictured), and this needs to be grown by 20% on 2019 figures. Covid-19 is estimated to have cost the creative industries £12bn and 110,000 lost jobs, with feelancers and audience-dependent businesses disproportionately hit.

“This has huge ramifications for the UK” Norbury said “because the creative industries don’t just make themselves money, they support whole swathes of the UK economy. The government’s levelling up agenda cannot succeed without creativity.

“With ambitious investment the creative sector can rebuild faster than the UK economy and make a major contribution to the country’s post-pandemic recovery. We are money makers, job creators, innovators and problem solvers. We can reshape this country’s future for the better, but to realise our ambitions for tomorrow, we must invest in creativity today.

“We are not asking for handouts” she said. “We are asking for meaningful, targeted investment in creative ideas, creative industries and creative skills, that can unlock the incredible potential of the creative sector to kickstart our country’s recovery, and that will be repaid many times over. 

The impact of greater investment in the creative industries is likely to be felt far beyond the sector, she said, with new modelling from Oxford Economics estimating that prior to the pandemic the creative industries supported an additional 1.4m jobs and £62.1bn in GVA through its UK supply chains. The combined economic footprint of the sector is found to have been £178 billion in GVA in 2019, with a total of 3.5m jobs reliant on the creative industries - more than 1 in 10 UK jobs and four times the workforce of the five largest UK supermarkets combined.

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