Press release

million+ report Creative Futures sets out strategy to support the creative industries

23 Nov 2015

A new report Creative Futures: Ten Steps to Support the Creative Economy published today (23 November) by the university-think-tank million+ argues that the government needs to adopt a clear strategy to support the UK’s creative industries and universities in the next decade. The report will be launched in the House of Commons at a reception hosted by Chris White MP who is a member of the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee.

The research says that the creative economy is worth nearly £80bn annually to the UK economy and accounts for 2.8 million jobs – 8.8% of all jobs in the UK. The creative economy employs a much higher percentage (62%) of graduates than the economy as a whole. Around 70% of these graduates have been educated at modern universities which also account for half of all postgraduates working in the creative economy.

The report warns that ‘the pipeline of future talent’ may be affected by new school performance measures which exclude creative subjects and points out that compared to other sectors, there is relatively little investment in the creative industries available through the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

Commenting on the report, Shirley Atkinson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sunderland, said:

“Modern universities like Sunderland have been at the heart of supporting the UK’s vibrant and ever-evolving creative industries. The country has the talent and a creative economy which is the envy of the world. Creativity is the key to innovation and therefore growth in productivity and our economic base.  

“The research from million+ highlights the importance of joined-up thinking in government. The departments for Education, Business, Culture and the Foreign Office need to adopt a coordinated approach so that we preserve the pipeline of talent from schools and colleges, support the small and medium-sized businesses which are at the heart of the creative sector and promote these industries and the universities which offer support to the creative industry sector.

“Supporting the creative industries and the universities which supply talented graduates is a winner not only for regions like the North East but for the UK as a whole.”

In addition to Chris White MP, other speakers at the launch which will be attended by students from a number of universities, include Julie Elliot MP who is a member of the Culture, Media and Sports Select Committee and Shirley Atkinson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sunderland. 


Notes to editors

1. million+ is a leading university think-tank. More information can be found at

2. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Pam Tatlow on 020 7717 1658 or email

3. Creative Futures: Ten Steps to Support the Creative Economy will be available to download on the million+ website along with a presentation prepared by Ellis Vaughan, a student from Southampton Solent University, with support from Solent Creatives.