UK: new study examines the important contribution of creative industries to the economy and society

The outcome of a study made by the UK Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value published in February 2015 has confirmed the findings of previous studies: the creative industries contribute significantly to the UK’s economy and employment, and the share of the sector in the overall GDP is growing.

As outlined in the introduction of the study, a total of 1.7 million people work in the creative industries: “together they contribute almost £77bn in value added, equivalent to 5.0% of the economy. The latest Department for Culture, Media and Sport estimates show that they grew by 9.9% in 2013, higher than any other sector. Allowing for the contribution of creative talent outside the creative industries, the creative economy’s share may be approaching one-tenth of UK’s economy”. IFRRO had already reported about the contribution of creative industries and within them, of the publishing sector, to the UK economy.

The study also measured the benefits of the creative industries for the British society and engagement in cultural activities; according to the latest figures, it seems that the gap between those enjoying culture and those who do not has widened over the last years, leading to a disproportion in the participation in cultural activities: “the wealthiest, better educated and least ethnically diverse 8% of the population forms the most culturally active segment of all: between 2012 and 2015 they accounted (in the most conservative estimate possible) for at least 28% of live attendance to theatre”, with similar results for attendance of live music or visits to visual arts exhibitions.

In the education, attendance of some art classes has fallen: “between 2003 and 2013 there was a 50% drop in the GCSE numbers for design and technology, 23% for drama and 25% for other craft-related subjects.” At the same time, other subjects such as Media and Film have experienced a substantial growth in the number of pupils attending classes.

Find the report here and an article in the Guardian here.