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The UK’s creative industries: an “economic powerhouse" that will be fuelled to future success by skills, innovation, new talent and international trade

4 min read Partner content

At an annual Parliamentary reception hosted by the Creative Industries Council, MPs, peers and industry experts gathered to celebrate the creative industries’ bounce back from the pandemic and plot a journey for its future growth.

With the England men’s football team focussed on overcoming Wales in Qatar, the focus of those in attendance at the Houses of Parliament was firmly on overcoming the economic drag of COVID-19.

Hosted by Baroness Bonham-Carter, the Creative Industries Council sought to galvanise  industry and parliamentarians with a hearty discussion on the state of the British creative sector[GC1] .

The event was celebratory from the outset with Sir Peter Bazalgette, co-chair of the Creative Industries Council, opening the proceedings. He lauded the resilience of the sector noting that “by 2021 the creative sector had bounced back from COVID to 95% of its 2019 value, which just shows you how quickly and how responsive and how strong the sector is”.

He pointed to the Cultural Recovery Fund and the Film & TV Production Restart Scheme as important contributors to the sector’s resilience. Sir Peter also looked firmly to the future, heralding a creative industries Sector Vision – in preparation with Government for the New Year. He also highlighted skills as a major driver of the sector’s future growth: “There's an enormous skills agenda, and we're going to undertake an awful lot of work on skills, not just about the skills we need now, but the skills we're going to need in 5 to 10 years’ time”.

Sir Peter  ended his speech by calling for stronger  recognition of the creative industries as an innovative R&D sector, saying that doing so would help the creative industries continue to support the country both economically and socially.

Julia Lopez speaks at the receptioDCMS Minister Julia Lopez was the next speaker to take the stage. She paid tribute to the creative industries as an “economic powerhouse” citing the sector as “one of the brightest spots in our economy, responsible for £116 billion in GVA, over 2 million jobs and 14% of all UK exports”.

Lopez heralded the collaboration between the sector and the government as a reason for these successes, and pointed out the recently announced £17.5m Create Growth Programme as a potential avenue for further investment in creative enterprise, outside London, going forwardInspiring future talent was also high on the Minister’s priority list, with Lopez sharing her ambition to encourage a rethink of creative careers: “fundamentally I want children to recognise and parents to recognise and teachers to recognise that the creative industries are not just a sort of fun place to build a career, but a lucrative place to build a career and one that you can build throughout an entire lifetime”.

Caroline Rush, Chair of the Creative Industries Trade Investment Board (CITIB) spoke of the sector’s role in pioneering the UK’s international reputation for research and innovation. She said “our talent and our businesses are world class, we're number two in the soft power index [and] number one in Europe but maintaining that position takes more than the work of our trade organisation and our independent businesses”.


Despite the obvious successes being reflected on, Rush offered a word of caution about the industry’s expected recovery to pre-pandemic levels of international trade, saying “we're starting to get there, but we're not quite there yet”.

Yet, that caution didn’t dampen any of the abundant ambition on display at the reception. CITIB are aiming high, with Rush pledging “to collectively achieve £78 billion in exports by 2030, supporting the government's £1 trillion trade exports agenda”.

For more information, you can see CITIB’s new international strategy, which sets out their aim to build on a strong year for the creative industries and embolden UK arts as an economic powerhouse around the world.

For more information, visit

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