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Strong Growth Stats Come with a Warning

The Creative Industries Federation today welcomed new economic growth figures that confirm that creative industries grew by 8.9% in 2014 - which is almost double the UK economy as a whole (4.6%).

The creative industries sector was worth £84.1bn to the UK economy in the year 2013 - 2014, up from nearly £77bn in the previous year. It is now a larger proportion of the economy than it has ever been.

The creative industries have now been the fastest growing part of the economy for the period from 2008 (when current measurements began) to 2014. Construction overtook the creative industries as the fastest growing sector of the economy in 2013 - 2014 but achieved a much lower rate of growth since 2008, at 9.7% compared to 37.5% for the creative industries.

Total employment was also up – increasing by 5.5% in the creative industries from 2013 – 2014 to 1.8 million jobs. Employment in the wider creative economy (creative industries + creative jobs in other sectors) hit 2.8 million jobs.

The creative economy now accounts for 8.24% of the UK’s economy and is worth £133.3bn. 

The period from 2013 - 2014 saw significant growth in film, TV, video, radio and photography, which coincided with the introduction of tax reliefs for high-end television and animation in April 2013, following longstanding credits for film (which were implemented in 2007). This comes after slowed growth in this sector from 2012 – 2013.

Design (which includes product, graphic and fashion) had the largest increase in GVA between 2013 - 2014 at 16.6%  But this is a sector where there are particular concerns for the future because of the skills pipeline, with the marginalisation of creative subjects in schools and particular challenges at higher and further education.

Another area of concern is music, performing and visual arts – the only industries which did not have growth this year above their average from 2008 – 2014. There are some problems with the data in this area, however (see UK Music’s report, Measuring Music, for example). The slowing of growth here could be, in part, due to cuts in public investment, through arts councils and local authorities.

John Kampfner, Federation chief executive, said:

“These are impressive figures and we congratulate our members and the wider sector. This success has been built not only on their talent, but on a mix of public and private investment, from arts council grants to tax credits. This shows that support and investment for the creative industries is repaid many times over.

“However, there are still areas where the Government needs to act to secure continued growth, not least by providing a proper creative education to ensure the workforce of the future.”

For the full government figures, click here.