U.K.’s Creative Industries Could Be Worth £128.4 Billion by 2025


British creative industries could be worth £128.4 billion ($174.4 billion) to the U.K. economy by 2025, according to an independent review of the sector led by Sir Peter Bazalgette.

The review—commissioned by the government and led by the current Chair of ITV—highlights how the creative sector is continuing to outperform others in terms of employment, having already grown 300,000 jobs between 2011 and 2015. It could help to create up to 1 million new jobs by 2030.

The review’s findings show the industry played a key role in the U.K.’s economic recovery. It contributed £87.4 billion ($118.1 billion) in GVA (gross value added) in 2015, 5.3 percent of the U.K. economy. Between 2010 and 2015, it grew by 34 percent, faster than any other sector.

It also outperformed other sectors in terms of employment growth. Between 2011 and 2015, employment in the sector increased by 19.5 percent (around 300,000 jobs) compared to 6.3 percent average across the wider U.K. The sector is also a net exporter of services—£11.1 billion ($15 billion) surplus in 2014.

Bazalgette said: “In every scenario, the creative industries are set to be of central importance to the U.K.’s future success. We have two great assets: the English language and our creativity, but the skills and business models of this sector are of increasing importance.

“My report recommends simple ways of maximizing the potential of this crucial sector which I’d like to see become part of the government’s developing industrial strategy.

“I urge the government to ensure the final strategy is based on a fundamental understanding of what these industries need to thrive.”

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said: “The U.K.’s creative industries are an economic powerhouse and the government is committed to removing the barriers to its growth.

“The key challenge now is turning these ideas into a strong partnership, which is credible and has buy-in from both government and industry.

“I encourage the sector to do what it does best: think creatively and work with us on achieving a compelling and ambitious deal that allows the U.K. creative industries to continue to thrive.

“Other asks include a strategy to attract and develop young talent to make the Creative Industries more accessible, including a careers program for secondary schools and expanding the U.K.’s network of Saturday Clubs.

“The review’s recommendations will now be considered carefully by the Government as part of its Industrial Strategy and used to inform work towards a sector deal in the coming months. In response the Government has already announced the opening of the £80 million Creative Industries Clusters Programme competition, led by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).”

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “The U.K.’s booming creative industries contribute nearly £90 billion to the economy and employ more than 2 million people.

“The review unveiled today demonstrates our world-class talent and expertise in these areas and reflects the industry’s vision for how we build on these strengths, now and in the future. We are grateful to Sir Peter Bazalgette for his excellent work. We will be working with him in the coming months towards a sector deal that helps us grasp the opportunities ahead.

“The £80 million Creative Industries Clusters Programme being launched today will deliver a further boost to our creative industries, help spread prosperity and grow the creative skills base across the U.K.

“This funding means that from today, eight areas of the country will be able to establish creative Research and Development (R&D) Partnerships between universities and businesses. The Programme, which is supported by £39 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and matched by industry, will help catalyze economic growth and provide the skills needed for the jobs of the future and respond to challenges identified by the creative industries in their cluster.

“And a new Policy and Evidence Centre will help fill the gaps in our understanding of the creative industries—from the full value of their economic contribution to how they compare internationally.”