There is likely to be many a creative freelancer among those using an accountant in Canary Wharf, with many of those certainly likely to take an interest in the latest warning from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) that the government could be “missing a trick” in its failure to include the creative industry in its 11-sector economic blueprint. The think-tank described the omission as a snub to the considerable growth and job creation potential of this section of the economy.
The IPPR said that the government didn’t appear to be taking the creative sector seriously, despite 2012 seeing it surpass average industry growth 25-fold. The think-tank’s analysis also showed the creative industry’s growth to be almost three times the average since the bottom of the crash in 2009. While GVA growth for the economy as a whole was 1.1 per cent and 0.3 per cent in 2011 and 2012 respectively, the equivalent figures for the creative sector were 7.9 per cent and 7.7 per cent. In addition, GVA growth since the crash’s 2009 trough was 3.1 for the whole economy, but 8.7 per cent for the creative industries.
None of these figures will be greatly surprising to many of those at the sharp end of the creative sector making use of an accountant in Canary Wharf. Nor will they be shocked by the 8.7 per cent rise in turnover since the bottom of the crash in 2009, or the 18 per cent increase in the number of enterprises between 2008 and 2012 – from 185,000 to 217,000. The film and TV, advertising and marketing and design industries have been responsible for the greatest rises. However, noting the patchiness of growth across the country, the IPPR also suggested measures to support growth outside London’s boundaries.
IPPR Associate Director, Will Straw said that although the government was showing a commitment to a “march of the makers”, what he described as “the impressive efforts of one of the fastest growing industries in the UK” were not being noted sufficiently. He said that despite the likes of Arts Council funding, spectrum policy, broadband roll-out and the BBC license review already lending the government “major impact” on the sector, a coherent industrial strategy had not been provided across government departments. This, he stated, raised the possibility of some of the sector’s potential being squandered.
Mr Straw concluded, in words that will find little disagreement among creative freelancers using an accountant in Canary Wharf: “Given the rapid growth of this sector, which has been rapidly outstripping the rest of the economy since the financial crisis, there is a strong case for the creative industries to be prioritised by government. Eleven other sectors have been chosen but there seems to be little rationale for their inclusion while omitting one of Britain’s most thriving and exciting industries.”