Creative businesses generating over £87.5bn for UK economy

Time to start a business in the creative industry? The sector is outperforming any other with higher growth and employment, says Bazelgette review

Looking for a good business opportunity? Now is the time to start a business in the creative sector, according to a government-backed review into the industry.

The Bazelgette review, compiled by ITV chairman Sir Peter Bazelgette, analysed the role creative businesses are playing in the UK’s economic recovery and found that, in 2015, creative companies generated a staggering £87.bn Gross Value Added (GVA) – amounting to 5.3% of the economy which is comparable to the construction and information sectors.

The creative industry is also outperforming all other sectors by a long way. Between 2010 and 2015, the sector grew 34% – faster than any other sector – while it also outperformed other sectors in terms of employment rates.

Between 2011 and 2015, employment by creative businesses increased by 19.5% (equivalent to 300,000 jobs) compared to 6.3.% average across the country.

The report also highlighted that creative occupations are highly resistant to automation with 87% of creative workers in the UK at low or no risk, meaning their share of the workforce is likely to rise steadily in coming years.

In terms of future growth, the review predicts that if barriers to growth in areas such as access to finance, intellectual property, and trade are removed, by 2025 the sector could contribute up to £128.4bn to the economy. By 2030, it’s suggested that creative companies could also create a whopping one million new jobs.

To secure this growth, the Bazelgette review makes the following recommendations to government across six areas:

  1. Innovation: “Industry and government need to work together to ensure direct investment into creative industries R&D and that the contribution of creative disciplines to R&D is properly
    valued.”
  2. Intellectual Property: “More can be done to realise the value of intangible IP by exploring valuation methods and developing innovative approaches to data transparency across the digital value chain.”
  3. Access to finance: “There should be a ‘ladder of growth’ approach to help businesses of all different sizes secure growth capital.”
  4. Talent. “An attraction strategy is needed to inform and excite young people, their teachers and parents about careers in the Creative Industries. Government and industry should ensure approaches to apprenticeships are optimised for individuals and employers.”
  5. Screen industries: “Government should ensure the UK builds a reputation as the most highly skilled nation to produce screen-based content that exploits these technologies. This includes direct investment into VR/AR research and extending the highly successful UK Games Fund.”
  6. International trade: “The Creative Industries should be allowed to establish a new, bespoke International Trade Board in partnership with the Department for International Trade (DIT). The UK should also create a new Creative Industries Observatory to cement our international position as a leading authority on the strategy, policy and measurement of this sector.”

Sir Peter Bazalgette commented:

“In every scenario the Creative Industries are set to be of central importance to the UK’s future success. We have two great assets: the English language and our creativity, but the skills and business models of this sector are of increasing importance.

“My report recommends simple ways of maximising the potential of this crucial sector which I’d like to see become part of the government’s developing Industrial Strategy.”

For business opportunities in the media and creative sector, check out these free start-up guides to five creative business ideas: