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  • Figurative Sculpture, Jenny Chan Ceramics, Directory Maker

Research and Policy Brief April 2020

A brief look this month at:

Craft sales increase from £883m in 2006 to over £3 billion in 2020

We’re delighted to be launching The Market for Craft next month on 26 May. The biggest study of the market for ten years, our report describes the characteristics of the market for craft - who’s buying craft, what they’re buying and why, how big the market is, how routes to market are changing, and what kind of infrastructure is supporting the market.

The study was undertaken by consultants Morris Hargreaves McIntyre and commissioned by the Crafts Council and eight leading national partners. We have ten spaces available for the public - please register here

Covid-19 – impact on the craft sector

The Crafts Council surveyed nearly 600 makers to understand the impact of the coronavirus crisis on their business and practice and to inform our advocacy work with Government. Read a summary of the findings here and our latest advice.

The DCMS Commons Select Committee is calling for written evidence on the impact of COVID-19 on any DCMS sectors by 1 May 2020. The Crafts Council will be submitting evidence.

Meanwhile museums are looking to reopen across Europe. Following a survey, NEMO, the Network of European Museum Organisations, reports that museums in Iceland and Austria are planning to reopen in May, with those in Switzerland following in June. Museums in Germany are already starting to open again.

New examples of how craft and creative activity contribute to wellbeing

Participating in sewing as a leisure activity contributes to psychological wellbeing through increasing pride and enjoyment, self-awareness, and 'flow' in younger women.

Creative activity undertaken daily is linked to positive psychological functioning.

What’s working in creative diversity?

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Creative Diversity has called for evidence for a year-long research project into ‘what works’ to boost diversity and inclusion in the creative sector. Submissions to the inquiry, co-chaired by Baroness Deborah Bull and Chi Onwurah MP, can be sent to diversityappg@gmail.com. The Crafts Council has made a submission based on our commitment to making an organisational shift to become more inclusive.

Craft’s strengths and weaknesses in international trade

The Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) has published 12 facts about the UK’s international trade in creative goods and services. The report highlights that crafts; museums, galleries and libraries; and music and visual arts are goods intensive exporters. (Craft exports were the highest of the creative industries in 2017 at £4.8bn – see table 33 in DCMS stats.) It also notes some of the sector’s vulnerabilities: for example, crafts and IT tend to have more small firms, with a smaller proportion of firms participating in international trade. This makes the large scale of craft exports slightly more vulnerable without more businesses engaging in exports.

Measuring the creative economy

The PEC’s Measuring the creative economy: A guide for policymakers traces the history of attempts to identify and measure the creative economy in the UK. It includes a practical measurement exercise for policymakers, illustrating the use of the ‘Dynamic Mapping’ approach currently used by DCMS.

The new Shadow ministerial team for digital, culture, media and sport is:

Jo Stevens (Shadow Culture Secretary)

Tracy Brabin (Cultural Industries)

Chi Onwurah (Digital, joint with BEIS)

Alex Sobel (Tourism and Heritage)

Chris Matheson (Media)

Rachel Maskell (Voluntary Sector and Charities)

Alison McGovern (Sport)

Labour’s Culture for All

Tracy Brabin’s recent report looks at how to embed arts and culture in local communities.