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£20 million to boost creative industries across England

The potential for future growth in this industry is clear, but creative organisations, which make up 1 in 8 of all UK businesses, face major challenges.

A recent survey by The Creative Industries Federation found that creative businesses face four main challenges:

  1. Lack of time to focus on growth
  2. Lack of finance/funding
  3. Lack of business support and understanding of where to find it
  4. Lack of quality and diversity of talent, both now and anticipated in the future

Many of these challenges are shared with other UK industries, although they are particularly felt by those working in creative businesses due to the high volume of freelancers, the micro sizes of the companies and the importance of Intellectual Property.

To help overcome these barriers more than £20 million is being invested into the UK’s creative industries. This is aimed to help inspire and attract new talent, scale up existing businesses, boost skills and provide education.

As part of the UK’s modern Industrial Strategy, this new funding includes:

  • A new £14 million Creative Careers Programme led by industry that will see leading industry figures working with schools and colleges to raise awareness of employment opportunities in the sector, reaching more than 160,000 students by 2020. Around 2 million young people will be able to access better advice about pursuing a creative career.
  • A £4 million programme to help scale up creative enterprises in the West of England, Greater Manchester, and the West Midlands – helping creative businesses to access finance and translate their ideas into investment.
  • £2 million to continue the successful ‘Get it Right’ campaign with industry until 2021 – helping to educate consumers on the dangers of copyright infringement and direct them to legitimate sources of creative content online.
  • £200,000 investment to upscale the Digital Schoolhouse programme being delivered by games trade body Ukie – inspiring the next generation of game creators, growing the programme to 50 schools by September 2019 and reaching an extra 7,000 pupils next academic year.
  • £190,000 to the UK Games Fund to build on the new Pitch Development Programme. This helps promising companies gain industry support to receive UK Games Fund grants of £25,000.

Alongside skills, the government is also prioritising access to finance for creative businesses. Mentors will be working with participating regions to identify appropriate sources of finance, as well as overcoming specific barriers to growth such as marketing, strategy planning or improving their digital footprint.