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Creative UK has urged the government to prioritise investment in the creative sector in a six-point wishlist, reiterating calls for a freelancer’s commissioner.

In a manifesto published today titled Our Creative Future, the charity says the creative sector is growing three times faster than the national average and should be considered a central pillar of the UK’s economy.

The creative industries, it stated, made a £125bn gross value added (GVA) contribution to the UK last year, representing almost 6% of the economy and 14% of UK services exports.

Ahead of the general election, Creative UK chief executive Caroline Norbury called on the next government to “stimulate creative work” and “champion a sector built on innovation and ideas”.

“Imagine what could be achieved if supporting culture and human creativity was perceived as an investment opportunity, not a cost,” she said. “Imagine if it wasn’t our resilience that was tested – but our potential.”

Creative UK’s called on the next government to:

  • Prioritise skills-focused education and careers guidance for young people, to support the target of 1m new jobs by 2030
  • Appoint a freelancers' commissioner
  • Return the arts share of National Lottery funds to 25% and create competitive fiscal reliefs and incentives
  • Invest more in research and development, and support new products, services and IP
  • Protect IP to allow AI and human creativity to work together
  • Make it easier to bring freelance talent in from anywhere in the world, as part of a general drive to allow for the easy movement of people, goods and services

Bristol figures

The charity’s comments follow the publication of BBC figures revealing that its flagship natural history series Wild Isles and The Green Planet delivered a combined £16.4m GVA.

According to the BBC Bristol Economic Impact Report, Silverback Films;’ Wild Planet generated £9m and helped the Bristol region support more than 80 full-time jobs, while BBC Studios Natural History Unit landmark The Green Planet delivered £7.4m and supported more than 50 jobs.

Across all producers and broadcasters, the natural history genre delivered £127.m to Bristol in 2022– 44% of the city’s production sector’s annual total turnover.

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