Culture, Creativity and Growth
On 17th February 2015 the Warwick Commission has launched its report, Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth. The report is the result of a one-year investigation undertaken by a diverse group of cultural leaders, supported by academics from the University of Warwick.
The key message from this report is that the government and the Cultural and Creative Industries need to take a united and coherent approach that guarantees equal access for everyone to a rich cultural education and the opportunity to live a creative life. There are barriers and inequalities in Britain today that prevent this from being a universal human right. This is bad for business and bad for society.
The Commission set itself the challenge of crafting a blueprint for greater cultural and creative success – towards a national plan for how culture and creativity can further enrich Britain. One of the strengths of the British people is our diverse culture and shared values – to be critical, curious, creative, tolerant, open minded and inventive. It produces the ideas, talent and enterprise that characterise the Cultural and Creative Industries, makes us proud of our achievements as a culturally rich and diverse society, and is at the heart of what makes us an attractive nation internationally.
2015 Warwick Commission report / The UK’s cultural and creative success
Through an extensive process of consultation and review of research and policy, the Warwick Commission now presents its final report as a blueprint for Britain’s cultural and creative enrichment.
We can be proud that British fashion, architecture, publishing, craft and design, film and TV, video games and software, museums, theatre, dance, popular and classical music and visual arts are internationally recognised as world class. 1.7 million people work in these industries. Together they contribute almost £77bn in value added, equivalent to 5.0% of the economy. The latest DCMS estimates show that they grew by 9.9% in 2013, higher than any other sector Allowing for the contribution of creative talent outside the creative industries, the creative economy’s share may be approaching one-tenth of UK’s economy.
These industries have an impact on us as individuals and in our shared culture – they shape our arts, contribute to our view of the world, influence our consumer choices and improve the enjoyment of environments in which we live and work.
They also shape the way in which we are perceived by others around the world.
The Cultural and Creative Industries are now recognised as one of the mainsprings of the British economy and their future sustainability and growth need to become a priority for the nation. We must begin to care about, understand and invest in our cultural and creative assets in the same way that we value and plan for health, education and welfare. Too often we have let our historical advantage in key industries be eroded by our international competitors. To sustain our success we need to invest in and support our world-class Cultural and Creative Industries and the cultural and creative traditions that feed them and make them special.
Scaling up success
Since 1998, Government has recognised the important contribution that the creative industries make to our economy. In 2014, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) introduced new classifications and metrics for measuring the economic performance of these industries. The Creative Industries Council has recently produced *Create UK as an industrial strategy for promoting further growth of the sector. The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is running a large-scale research programme to understand better the value of the arts and culture in ways more varied than economic value alone. Arts Council England, the AHRC and Nesta have funded a major three-year programme of work on digital Research and Development (R&D). Nesta’s recent pamphlet on The New Art of Finance presents new thinking on how to bring additional finance into the arts and make public money work harder. The Heritage Lottery Fund and the RSA have recently announced ‘Heritage and Place: Phase 2’ – an initiative for applied research into the potential role of heritage in local strategic planning and development.
The newly formed Creative Industries Federation represents a wide range of cultural and creative businesses and organisations and will be a powerful unifying and lobbying group for the sector. At the same time, British Council research has shown the significance of culture in shaping the UK’s place in the world, what makes it attractive to others, and how it supports trade and tourism. These are all important initiatives which the report’s recommendations seek to support. There is momentum and a live opportunity to amplify and grow Britain’s cultural and creative strengths.
Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value