Response to the Autumn Statement 2023: Caroline Norbury OBE, CEO, Creative UK

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Caroline Norbury, OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Creative UK, responds to the Autumn Statement 2023

“The Chancellor correctly makes economic growth his priority, and recognises too that the UK’s cultural and creative industries are uniquely well-placed to boost growth and innovation.

Today’s commitment to review public expenditure into R&D is a significant future opportunity and a direct response to what our members have been calling for. Leveraged in the right way, this could enable more private sector investment to flow into the creative economy; boosting innovation by ensuring that arts, culture, humanities, and social sciences research are eligible for new simplified R&D tax reliefs.

The call for evidence on increasing the generosity of the Film and HE TV tax credits is welcome, however, there remains scope for much needed support for other areas, including independent production  – and as of yet no permanent extension to the sunset clauses for Museums and Galleries Tax Relief. We also welcome the positive amendments and clarity on Theatre Tax Relief (TTR) and we remain committed to advocating for TTR to be implemented indefinitely.

Creative industries workforce and skills shortages are critical, and we look forward to hearing whether the funding outlined to increase the number of apprentices in “key growth sectors” will benefit the creative sector. Reforming the apprenticeship levy in England remains a priority if this objective is to be achieved.

We welcome the measures on taxes on the self-employed, funding for start-ups, and on business rates which should help ease cost of living pressures for our members, including many freelancers.

While the opportunity these changes will eventually bring to our community is positive, given the ambition and capability of our cultural and creative industries we’d like the Chancellor to match the level of support with that provided to other key growth sectors. The UK’s creative and cultural industries continue to be a national and international success story. It is vital that the UK Government continues to work closely in partnership with our sector to embark on ambitious, radical programmes of policy reform and to invest in its incredible ability to create sustainable jobs, positive impact, prosperous enterprises, and social cohesion.”