In July 2021, Creative UK Group published new data showing the impact of the pandemic on the Creative Industries and crucially, what can be unlocked with the right investment.
Our report, The UK Creative Industries: unleashing the power and potential of creativity features newly commissioned data from Oxford Economics, which projects that, with the right investment, the sector could recover faster than the UK economy as a whole, growing by over 26% by 2025 and contributing £132.1 billion to the economy in GVA – over £28 billion more than in 2020, and more than the financial services, insurance and pension industries combined. Not only a major driver of economic growth, the data reveals that by 2025 the Creative Industries could create 300,000 new jobs, bouncing back from the impact of Covid-19 and surpassing pre-pandemic employment levels: generating enough new jobs to employ the working-age population of Hartlepool and Middlesbrough twice over.
Coinciding with the report launch, our #WeAreCreative campaign demonstrated to government just how powerful the Creative Industries are and crucially, what can be unlocked with the right investment. In the week of the report’s release, it was downloaded over 1,700 times and the accompanying #WeAreCreative hashtag was proactively used by over 1,000 creative organisations and influencers across the UK, reaching over 12,800,000 social media accounts – that’s more than 1 in 6 people in the UK. Campaign assets drawn from the report were harnessed by our creative community to engage with their local politicians and decision-makers across the UK, with Edinburgh International Fringe hosting the Chancellor in August and the British Fashion Council using the material in their engagement with MPs during London Fashion Week in September.
Before the pandemic, the UK’s Creative Industries were one of the fastest growing economic sectors, generating £111bn in GVA (greater than the automotive, aerospace, life sciences and oil and gas sectors combined) and growing at five times the rate of the economy as a whole. However, with venues, museums and cinemas closed, film shoots postponed and festivals cancelled, we started to see a very different picture. In a survey of the sector in early 2020, we found that 1 in 7 creative organisations only had reserves to last until the end of April 2020, whilst 62% of self-employed creative workers had seen 100% of their income disappear overnight.
Our campaign in April 2020 raised awareness of Our World Without Culture Coming together, we urged government to provide emergency funding for our creative organisations. With over 500 signatories on our open letter to government, including Nick Cave, Paloma Faith, Stephen Fry, Meera Syal and Simon Calloway.
After a long year of campaigning, our sector has achieved unparalleled levels of support from government with the extension of support schemes helping to reach some of those who have been hardest hit and the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.