Communications and Digital Committee publishes its report on the creative industries

By January 24, 2023 Industry News

The Communications and Digital Committee has published its report  At risk: our creative future .

The main findings were: 

  • The House of Lords Communications Committee warns that Government complacency risks undermining the UK’s creative industries in the face of increased international competition and rapid technological change.
  • The Committee says that the UK’s creative industries should sit at the heart of the UK’s economic growth plans and sounds the alarm over missed opportunities and a failure among senior Government figures to recognise the sector’s commercial potential.
  • The UK’s creative industries were worth more than £115bn to the UK economy before the pandemic, and makeup as many as one in eight businesses across the country. Their contribution to the economy in 2019 was more than the aerospace, life sciences and automotive industries combined. The sector also delivers higher levels of innovation than many other areas of the economy. Countries across the world are competing for a slice of the lucrative opportunities in the sector: global exports of creative services alone exceeded $1 trillion in 2020 – more than double what it was in 2010.
  • The Committee draws attention to the implications of technology-related disruption and warns that the UK risks losing its leading position in this fast-growing industry. The Committee concludes the Government has a major opportunity to put the creative sector at the heart of its future growth agenda but is failing to do so.
  • The report calls on the Government to unlock the sector’s potential by fixing policies “characterised by incoherence and barriers to success”. The report acknowledges the Government’s ongoing work but says urgent action is needed to ensure the UK does not fall behind fast-moving international competitors. Issues of concern include: allowing other countries to overtake the UK in providing more competitive tax incentives; blind spots in education and skills policy; proposals to relax intellectual property law which threatens creative sector business models; the ending of the Creative Industries Clusters Programme; and a failure to take seriously the creative industries illustrated by the perception across government that DCMS remains the “ministry of fun” rather than a critical driver of economic growth.

The key recommendations were:

  • The Government’s definition of R&D for tax relief should be changed to include more of the creative sector.
  • The Government should also benchmark other creative sector tax reliefs against international competitors to address the UK’s declining competitiveness.
  • The Intellectual Property Office’s proposals to change the text and data mining regime are misguided and should be paused immediately.
  • Protect the UK’s intellectual property framework, which is respected worldwide.
  • There should be a cross-Government focus on skills shortages in the creative industries. The Department for Education should encourage students to learn a blend of creative and digital skills; improve career guidance; reverse the decline in children studying design and technology; change lazy rhetoric about ‘low value’ arts courses; and make apprenticeships work better for SMEs in the creative industries.
  • UK Research and Innovation should identify options to continue the most successful parts of the Creative Clusters Programme after March 2023.


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