What does the future hold for the UK creative industries?

In March 2018, the government and Creative Industries Council announced a breakthrough £150 million Creative Industries sector deal to help Britain’s world-leading cultural and creative businesses thrive.

In this article you will learn:

  • How important the creative industries are to the UK economy.
  • The Creative Industries sector deals’ main industry areas of focus.
  • How the deal will nurture new talent.
  • Arts and the UK economy

You may be surprised to know that creative industries generate a whopping £92 billion a year for the UK economy. They employ two million people and are growing twice as fast as the rest of the economy.

"Britain’s creative industries are an economic and cultural powerhouse and this ambitious deal will make sure they continue to thrive as we build a Britain fit for the future," explains Matt Hancock, Digital and Culture Secretary. 

Here are the deal’s main areas of focus...

Immersive technologies

The government has pledged £33 million towards 'immersive technologies', such as virtual reality video games and augmented reality projects. An additional £1.5 million will also be invested in the successful UK Game Fund over the next two years.

The aim is to double the UK’s share of the global creative immersive content market by 2025 - estimated to be worth over £30 billion.

There are also plans to create new research and development partnerships between universities and creative businesses within this sector.


£20m has been set aside for a Cultural Development Fund. Towns and cities can bid for a share of the fund to invest in creative and cultural activities. This fund was inspired by the success of Hull’s City of Culture in 2017, where almost £220 million was invested in tourism and culture and nearly 800 jobs were created.


Creative industries capitalise on individual creativity, talent and skill. It’s crucial that we nurture and develop the next generation and encourage a larger, more diverse range of talent entering a broader range of creative jobs.

The deal recognises this with a £2 million investment that will support a 'sustainable talent pipeline'. This will fund an industry-led careers programme that aims to reach at least 2,000 schools and 600,000 pupils over two years. And a new London Screen Academy, which is set to open in September 2019.

"Our creative industries will help develop the talent of the future, ensure people are rightly rewarded for their creative content and give our firms the support they need to compete on the global stage," says Hancock.

Other areas

The government will also launch a new creative industries Trade and Investment Board, which aims to increase creative industry exports by 50 per cent by 2023. It is also pledging to help safeguard copyright content and tackle online infringement.

It’s not difficult to see the huge impact this deal can have within our vibrant creative and cultural sectors. As well as boosting productivity and innovation, this landmark investment will create more jobs, increase the earning power of our creatives and make sure that our creative industries remain world-class.

This is a guest blog and may not represent the views of Virgin.com. Please see virgin.com/terms for more details.


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