Belfast Telegraph

Arts 'as important to future economic success as traditional industries'

The arts should be at the heart of the Government's business strategy, creative industry leaders have said.

The Creative Industries Federation, a national body for the UK's arts, creative industries and cultural education sectors, has called on the Government to "overhaul" its approach to business.

Brexit means that it is now "even more crucial" for the Government to enable the creative industries "to deliver more jobs, trade and exports", it said.

The federation has presented the Government with a blueprint of policy recommendations for the creative industries, "the fastest growing sector of the UK economy" .

Chief executive John Kampfner said: "There has been a tendency to dismiss the creative industries as something lightweight while claiming the glory of billions of pounds in trade that comes from hits such as War Horse, Sherlock and Slumdog Millionaire."

He said the Government should recognise that creative industries "will be as important to future economic success as traditional industries, such as cars or oil and gas".

He added: "Our blueprint presents an ambitious vision combined with practical ideas, not just for increasing growth in the creative industries, but also for delivering growth and success for the wider economy and country."

Its recommendations include plans for creative enterprise zones and campaigns to increase diversity in employment in the sector.

The sector includes everything from advertising, architecture, broadcasting and design to fashion, film, heritage, museums and galleries, music, publishing and video games.

The federation said there are 2.9 million jobs in the creative economy, a rise of 5.1% between 2014 and 2015.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: "The UK's creative industry is one of our fastest-growing sectors, employing over two million people and it contributed nearly £90 billion to the economy in 2015.

"Through our Industrial Strategy I want to ensure we build on this sector's strengths, which is why we have committed to an early sector deal for the industry in our green paper.

"Sir Peter Bazalgette is leading this work with an independent review into how the UK's creative sector, including our world-class music and video games industries, can help drive prosperity across the country by developing new technologies, capitalising on intellectual property rights and encouraging creativity from people of all ages and backgrounds."