Sector News

The Industrial Strategy White Paper and the Arts

Last week the government published it's Industrial Strategy White Paper, recognising the important economic role of the creative industries but failing to identify that the drop in creative education threatens the growth of the arts and wider economy. 

Posted: 12/04/2017

The Creative Industries Federation‘s published their response to the white paper;

‘The white paper is a step in the right direction, including a number of important levers for the creative industries and wider economy. However, we are deeply concerned that these positive moves will be undermined by a lack of ambition from government in terms of skills policy. In the meantime, continued uncertainty over Brexit looms large.

It is good to see greater understanding of our sector in the final version of the white paper, which follows the Federation’s public and behind-the-scenes advocacy in the run up to its publication and in response to a disappointing Budget. There is now recognition across Whitehall that the creative industries are growing at twice the rate of the economy as a whole, and reference has been made to our sector’s reliance on STEM skills. 

The £33m for an ‘audiences of the future’ fund to support immersive tech is also welcome. Together with the AHRC’s creative industries clusters programme, this brings the funding secured for direct innovation investment in the creative industries to over £110m. The Federation and its members played a key role in securing this.

The white paper provides more detail on the Cultural Development Fund, which will provide investment to culture and the creative industries with the aim of boosting regeneration and local growth. It also reaffirms government’s intention to agree a special ‘deal’ with the sector shortly, featuring policies tailored to the needs of creative businesses. 

However, there are still two major threats that the white paper does not address: the impact of Brexit and creative education. It fails to recognise that the drop in creative education is a major threat to the growth of our sector and wider economy, which is particularly disappointing…

The Cultural Learning Alliance have also published a breakdown of what the white paper means for the creative industries here:

‘Over the coming months it will be important for us all to keep up the pressure and dialogue with government to make sure that the Deal is agreed in the next round of negotiations – with the appropriate funding put in place in the next Budget to make it a reality.’

You can read the full Industrial Strategy White Paper here:

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