£20 million to boost creative industries across England

More than £20 million is being pumped into the UK’s thriving creative industries to help inspire and attract new talent, scale up existing businesses, boost skills and provide education. 

The package of support, announced by Creative Industries Minister, Margot James, during a visit to Dudley College, will help to increase the diversity of the sector’s workforce and maintain the future pipeline of creative talent in an industry that now contributes more than £100 billion to the UK economy. 

Improving the nation’s skills and boosting business opportunities is at the heart of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy, which this week celebrates its one year anniversary.

This new funding follows the publication of the Creative Industries Sector Deal earlier this year and includes: 

  • A new £14 million Creative Careers Programme led by industry that will see leading industry figures working with schools and colleges to raise awareness of employment opportunities in the sector, reaching more than 160,000 students by 2020. Around 2 million young people will be able to access better advice about pursuing a creative careers. 
  • A £4 million programme to help scale up creative enterprises in Bristol, Greater Manchester and the West Midlands - helping creative businesses to access finance and translate their ideas into investment. 
  • £2 million to continue the successful ‘Get it Right’ campaign with industry until 2021 - helping to educate consumers on the dangers of copyright infringement and direct them to legitimate sources of creative content online. 
  • £200,000 investment to upscale the Digital Schoolhouse programme being delivered by games trade body Ukie powered by PlayStation - inspiring the next generation of game creators, growing the programme to 50 schools by September 2019 and reaching an extra 7000 pupils next academic year.
  • £190,000 to the UK Games Fund to build on the new Pitch Development Programme. This helps promising companies gain industry support to receive UK Games Fund grants of £25,000.

Minister for the Creative Industries, Margot James, said: 

“Our creative industries are a vital part of the economy, contributing over £100 billion to the economy so it is important we maintain the pipeline of talent.

"This package will take the sector from strength to strength by arming the next generation of creatives with the necessary skills and giving businesses in the sector the support they need to succeed.“

The Creative Careers programme will see leaders of creative businesses inspire students through talks and work experience. Businesses will also be helped to develop more accessible routes into employment in the sector, this includes creating apprenticeship standards for a number of priority roles which will be identified by industry. 

The initiative will also boost the number of apprenticeships to 3000 across the creative industries by 2025 and join the hundreds of apprentices already working across the sector with employers including Pinewood Studios, Royal Opera House, V&A Museum, McCann and Google. 

The West Midlands region has a large, growing cluster of around 10,000 creative enterprises, with some of the largest growth in creative businesses in the country. It is home to around 10 per cent of the UK games industry; a substantial advertising, marketing and design sector;  the largest jewellery, crafts and designer maker cluster outside London.

Design and creative industries are at the heart of the West Midlands’ wider global strengths in advanced manufacturing, automotive and transport innovation. Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street added:

“We know we have creative strengths in the region. More than 10,000 creative businesses are based here, and we’re working to support the rapid growth in this sector, with the ambition that the digital and creative industry will employ more than 100,000 people in the West Midlands by 2030.

“We want to continue the momentum we’ve built in recent months. This DCMS funding will allow us to provide dedicated support to our creative industries, match businesses with investors, and sustain the growth of this industry into 2030 and beyond.”

Lowell Williams, Chief Executive Officer at Dudley College of Technology and Chair of the Board of Dudley Academies Trust, said:

“With the creative industry in the West Midlands generating nearly £4bn a year to the regional economy, Dudley College of Technology is proud to be developing new talent across a range of disciplines including film and TV, fashion, games design and crafts.

"We recognise  the huge contribution the creative industries play, not only in economic terms but in providing a rich, vibrant culture and we are keen to train the creatives of the future.

"This announcement will help support the skills agenda and also provide a boost for entrepreneurs and small businesses who have the potential for growth.”

The cash injection follows the publication of new figures which reveal the value of the creative industries to the UK is up from £94.8 billion in 2016 to £101.5 billion, growing at nearly twice the rate of the economy since 2010. 

The Government is committed to making sure creative businesses around the UK are supported. The creation of nine new Creative Clusters, the Government  will support innovation by part-funding research partnerships between universities and industry. They will explore how  digital technologies can improve the use of digital technologies to improve audience experience in the screen and performance industries, and shorten production times in the design industry.


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