Is the UK at risk of losing its edge in creative industries?

NESTA Manifesto for the Creative EconomyA recent report from Nesta A Manifesto for the Creative Economy, published on 23 April, warns that the UK’s early success in the creative industries could be wasted without strong action from government.

According to Nesta the UK creative economy is one of our great national strengths – providing employment for 2.5 million people and accounting for around a tenth of the economy – however policymakers ‘have failed to keep pace with developments in North America and parts of Asia,’ allowing young companies from outside the UK to dominate new markets.

In their manifesto Nesta argue that it is not too late to refresh tired policies and sets out a ten point plan to bolster the field in the face of “mounting and innovative global competition”.

The top priorities are:

  • To ensure that the next generation of the Internet is truly open. This calls for contestable creative economy markets, well supervised by competition authorities which have the information and authority to act speedily and effectively when there are concerns about market abuse.
  • All teenagers should have the opportunity to learn creative digital skills, such as designing apps and games, as part of a fusion in the curriculum covering technology and art, as well as maths, science and the humanities.
  • Policy tools designed to incentivise innovation, from tax relief to procurement rules, should be adapted to the needs of the creative economy.
  • The UK’s publicly funded creative powerhouses, from the BBC to universities, arts organisations and museums should make the most of the next generation of digital technologies.

The full report can be read here: A Manifesto for the Creative Economy