Making the case for support to the creative industries and craft
The UK Creative Industries: Unleashing the power and potential of creativity, new research from the Creative Industries Federation, describes how essential the UK’s creative industries are and makes a series of employment and investment related recommendations. The We Are Creative campaign aims to maximise creative businesses’ potential to regenerate places and rebuild the economy. The evidence on the impact of Covid and Brexit, the importance of visas, IP rights and businesses’ role in placemaking make a good case for support from the Government’s Spending Review later this year. The report includes two Crafts Council craft innovation case studies – Piñatex sustainable textiles and Bentley Motors.
Craft businesses’ Brexit challenges (VAT charges, changes to rules of origin, delays, paperwork confusion etc) and the lack of access to Covid support for sole traders are highlighted in the accompanying Oxford Economics report, Developing Economic Insight into the Creative Industries. It shows what increased investment in the creative industries could achieve. And how for every £1 generated by craft businesses the supply chain currently supports another 70p made elsewhere (a GVA multiplier of 1.7, shown in Fig 5 p15).
These challenges are echoed in our summary of five years of Crafts Council makers’ needs surveys. Makers need support to navigate the complexities of with trading with Europe. This represents a shift, even though funding and marketing advice and help on working with galleries remain important to the sector. The summary recommends sector support organisations focus on providing:
- access to marketing resources relevant to post Covid-19 advice
- a comprehensive guide for craft businesses to navigate Brexit trade implications
- more accessible business resources
- new resources around funding and mental health awareness, particularly advice on managing stress.
The Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre's Creative Places campaign gives a clear sense of how the creative industries are critical to the levelling up agenda. They call on the Government to target funding to creative microclusters around the UK. The Creative Radar shows that creative industries businesses largely weathered the storm, but face real challenges over the next year. However, the impacts of COVID-19 were uneven and freelancers (including sole-traders) bore the brunt. In addition, increases in online cultural consumption during lockdowns may not have translated into financial benefits for all creative businesses, as it decreased for Design, Crafts, Architecture and Museums and galleries.
Meanwhile, the Government’s new Innovation Strategy for the UK recognises how the design and creative sectors are instrumental elements of the innovation system and it announces an increase in annual R&D investment to £22bn.