Statement from Caroline Norbury MBE, Chief Executive, Creative UK, on UK Government’s Levelling Up White Paper

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At Creative UK, we strongly believe that whilst talent is everywhere, opportunity is not, so it is welcome to see UK Government taking action to address this in its Levelling Up White Paper. 

However, the fact that the UK Shared Prosperity Fund won’t fully replace the money received from the European Union is a major concern. European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) contributed more than £400 million to projects supporting the Creative Industries in England, Wales and Scotland, providing vital cash injections that improved living standards in areas with the greatest need. Significant investment will be necessary to realise Government’s ambitions and ensure no-one is left behind.  

The Creative Industries play a huge role in unleashing opportunity, prosperity and pride in places throughout the UK, and have the potential to achieve much more. Creativity is an essential catalyst for regenerating our villages, towns and cities, drawing people and investment into local places and binding diverse communities together. With the right investment, the creative sector is set to create 300,000 new jobs and generate an extra £28 billion for the UK economy by 2025, throughout the regions and nations.  

Guaranteeing access to creative education and ensuring security for freelancers must be in place to help realise this ambition. This will sustain and grow a diverse talent pipeline to not only fuel our world-leading Creative Industries, but to boost entrepreneurialism and future-proof local industries and jobs with the high-level skills needed to support UK growth and innovation. 

The significant impact that public investment into the Creative Industries delivers for people and places must be reflected in Government’s plans. Investment in public service media fuels growth in areas across the UK, as will continued spending on creative R&D: The Creative Industries Clusters Programme is set to have leveraged £201 million in investment into key parts of the country and we urge the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy to back its successor 

By empowering people and communities in all corners of the UK to unlock their creative potential, we can develop the skills and abilities essential to the UK’s economic and social recovery. It is welcome to see that local leaders will be empowered to play much greater role and we look forward to working with them as they shape their plans.