The Value of the Creative Arts to The UK Economy
According to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, the Creative Industries contributed £111.7 billion to the UK economy in 2019 (the last year I could find accurate figures for) accounting for 6.5% of total GDP.
The Creative Industries, which include sectors such as Advertising, Architecture, Art and Antiques, Crafts, Design, Fashion, Film and Video, Games Software, Music, Performing Arts, Publishing, and TV and Radio, are a VITAL part of the UK economy. Having been lucky enough to have worked at Shepperton Studios, I’ve seen first hand just how highly regarded the skills available in the UK are regarded internationally. You might be surprised to find just how many of the “Hollywood” and Netflix blockbusters you watch are actually wholly or partly made in the UK.
And one of the main benefits of the creative industries is their ability to drive innovation and GROWTH. The sector is known for its creativity, diversity, and ability to adapt to changing trends and technologies. This has helped it to become a key driver of economic growth, with the creative industries experiencing FASTER GROWTH than the wider economy in recent years.
The Creative industries play a crucial role in exporting British culture and creativity to the rest of the world. The UK is home to many world-renowned cultural institutions and creative talent, and the country’s creative exports are valued at over £22 billion per year. This helps to promote the UK as a global leader in culture and creativity, attracting tourists and investment from around the world.
Another value of the creative industries is the job and employment opportunities they provide. The sector employs over 2 million people in the UK, making it one of the largest employers in the country. To give just one example – and going back to my Shepperton Studios experience – it’s NOT just actors, directors and cameramen – it’s a whole slew of associated talent is employed in making movies – from production accountants, technicians, set and costume designers, make-up artists, through to carpenters, plasterers, electricians and caters – it’s a sector that is open to people from all backgrounds and with a wide range of skills and talents, making it an important source of inclusive and diverse employment.
So, when Rishi Sunak says everybody in the UK should study maths until the age of 18, there’s a strong argument that what students should actually be studying is the Creative Arts. But I’m NOT advocating that. For some people, being forced to study Creative Arts to 18 would be absolute HELL. Just as studying maths to the age of 18 would be to others.
If people enjoy, and are engaged in the Creative Arts, let them study it. For the good of the country. But for goodness sake, don’t MAKE them study maths.