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  • Folding Stools, Tomoko Azumi, 1995, Crafts Council Collection W103. Photo Todd-White Art Photography

October 2015 policy brief

This month we have:


Measuring economic value in cultural institutions

A new report from the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Cultural Value Project, Measuring Economic Value in Cultural Institutions, outlines how a monetary value can be attributed to the work of cultural institutions, with a view to quantifying how much people’s lives are improved by arts and culture. The research uses two methods of economic valuation - contingent valuation (a popular stated preference method) and wellbeing valuation – applying these in two national institutions, Tate Liverpool and the Natural History Museum. 

The ambition is that the techniques will help arts organisations to demonstrate their value and policymakers to make better decisions, leading to a more efficient use of resources in the sector.

Design Economy report reveals the value of design to the UK economy

The Design Economy is the Design Council's 2015 report on the value of design to the UK economy. Building on the same approach the Crafts Council took in Measuring the Craft Economy, the research assesses the contribution of design to the UK economy using a set of key measures, including gross value added, productivity, turnover, employment and exports of goods and services.  It includes a summary of the impact of micro-businesses, the value of design across different industrial sectors, a regional breakdown of the design sector and design workforce demographics.

Growth in SMEs in creative, digital and professional industries 

The Centre for Cities has published its annual health check of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) across the UK's 64 largest cities. This year the focus is on the growth in recent years of ‘new work’ SMEs – the highly-skilled, innovative firms in sectors such as the creative, digital and professional industries. An infographic explains simply how these businesses are not only growing much faster than businesses in traditional industries, they also have a big impact on the wider city economy by increasing demand and jobs in other sectors such as service-based businesses, retail and leisure.

The creative industries in London

The Greater London Authority’s (GLA) latest paper provides evidence of the value of the creative industries in London, and the impact it has on London’s economy. The GLA estimates the 2012 Gross Value Added (GVA) of the creative industries in London at £34.6 billion, accounting for just under half of the UK total and contributing 10.7 per cent of total GVA in London. In the three years to 2012, the creative industries showed relatively higher growth than London’s economy as a whole.

The report also measures GVA per workforce job (as a way of measuring the productivity of the sector). In London this was equal to £71,100 in 2012. Craft’s GVA per workforce job has grown by 14.2% between 2009 and 2012, whereas design’s productivity has shrunk by -1%. The fastest growth in the same period was in Advertising and Marketing (an increase of 53.3 per cent), followed by Crafts (a 39.5 per cent increase).

The report also looks at the spatial distribution of both employees and workplaces in the creative industries across London, providing evidence of clustering of the industries around certain areas of London.

DCMS White Paper consultation - funding

The second in a series of four online discussions to inform the Government’s White Paper on culture has begun. The Funding Challenge considers how arts and cultural organisations can identify new opportunities to diversify their income streams and raise additional funding from new sources.

Review of Post-16 education and training institutions

The government is to restructure further education, following a series of area based reviews of provision. The review will be accompanied by the introduction of a new network of Institutes of Technology and National Colleges to deliver high standard provision at levels 3, 4 and 5.

The aim is to ensure colleges are financially resilient and able to offer high quality education and training based on the needs of learners and employers within the local area. The reviews will also take into account other providers and stakeholders in the area.

Creative Scotland’s Creative Industries Draft Strategy 2015-17

The Scottish arts and cultural sector is being invited to give feedback on a new strategy document that will shape how the creative industries are supported up until April 2017. It is framed around the four priorities of the Scottish Government Economic Strategy 2015 – investing, supporting innovation, promoting inclusivity and promoting Scotland internationally.

The Bean review 

The government commissioned Professor Sir Charles Bean to undertake a review of economic statistics to assess future needs and the effectiveness of current data gathering and analysis through the Office for National Statistics (ONS). We responded by highlighting how important it is that the government now produce a full set of economic estimates for craft, following Crafts Council dialogue with DCMS which resulted in partial estimates for craft appearing for the first time in 2015. 

We also drew attention to the need for ONS to consult on an appropriate methodology for including data on micro-businesses with income under the VAT threshold. Whilst their economic contribution may be small, the identification of micro-businesses would enable government policy to target more effectively its support for sustainable micro-businesses.

UK is second most innovative country

The UK has been ranked as the second most innovative country in the world. The Global Innovation Index (GII) has placed the UK above the USA, Singapore and Germany for the third year running, recognising the UK’s standing in the field of innovation.

Guide for cultural organisations to develop international programming

This accessible guide from The Culture Diary offers advice and case studies from organisations with successful international experience. It provides a go-to list of services available from government departments and agencies to help make the most out of international export opportunities. With a focus on large scale performance, it contains ideas for turning international touring into a reality. 

A new handbook for creating inspirational learning spaces 

Clore Duffield’s Space for Learning provides new guidance on all aspects of designing cultural learning spaces. Originally published in 2004, it includes practical elements such as furniture storage, technology, lighting and working with architects. It is aimed at all those involved in creating inspirational learning spaces for museums, galleries, and built and natural heritage sites. 

The art of partnering

King’s Cultural Institute has published The Art of Partnering, the final report of a Cultural Enquiry with the BBC. The study explores the role partnership plays in enabling publicly funded cultural institutions to enhance the quality and diversity of their work across the UK. Partnership was found to encompass a wide range of models. The human dimension was seen as a significant factor in success, suggesting that brokering partnerships is evolving as a new role, with leadership attributes that need embedding within organisations.

Last, but absolutely not least, let’s hear it for Design and Technology (D&T)!

We don’t usually cover campaigns in the policy brief, but we feel compelled to draw attention to the Design and Technology Association’s campaign. D&T is facing huge challenges in both primary and secondary school, including teacher recruitment, reducing curriculum time, decreasing GCSE entries and access to professional development. (Our report series, Studying Craft, sets out data on GCSE participation related to craft.) See what you can do to help.

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