Parliamentary Briefing

UK’s creative industries and their contribution to the UK economy

30 Jun 2016

The Motion: ‘That this House has considered the need to support the UK’s creative industries and their contribution to the UK economy


On 26th April 2016 Chris White MP, Julie Elliott MP and Michelle Thomson MP brought an application to the Backbench Business Committee on the subject of the UK’s creative industries, and their contribution to the economy. The drive for such a debate was sparked after MPs worked with MillionPlus in 2015 following the ‘Creative Futures’ report, which suggested ten steps to support the UK’s creative economy. The application to the committee was extremely popular with MPs, with 46 members declaring an interest to contribute in the debate at the time of the application, and the Backbench Business Committee awarded a 3-hour debate in the Chamber for the 7th July.

The definition of the Creative Industries was established in the Government’s 2001 Creative Industries Mapping Document as “those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property”.

Key Facts:

  • The creative sector is worth £84.1billion to the UK economy, and is one of the fastest growing areas of the economy3
  • 2.8 million jobs are linked to the creative industries in the UK
  • 70% of those in creative occupations are university educated
  • Numbers studying many creative subjects at school and university are falling, and the talent pool will inevitably decrease
  • Government needs to ensure continuing success of this sector and invest in its future by supporting the universities that support the creative sector

The UK creative sector is a national success story, and benefits every region. This success should not be taken for granted, and government must ensure that the sector can grow in the future by maintaining both the talent pipeline and the ability for creative subjects to be taught to a high standard across the UK.

UK universities are crucial to the success of this sector and their work must be championed and built on. Modern universities in particular, who are often overlooked by government, should be recognised as leaders in these fields and given the tools they need to continue and improve upon the work they do.

Be it in the Higher Education and Research Bill or in any other legislation or policy announcement, the needs to the creative sector should never be overlooked. The immense value they bring to the UK – economically, culturally or reputationally - should be given the respect it deserves, and all those working in these industries should be congratulated for the contribution they make to the UK.

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