Nicky Morgan MP: Let’s make Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a creative business
We will continue to champion our world-leading creative, cultural, sporting and tech sectors, says Nicky Morgan MP
I have been struck by the incredible work of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) since I became culture secretary in July. From supporting our technology sector and helping charities thrive, to hosting major sporting events and investing in talented young people for our arts, media and creative industries, DCMS works with sectors that are woven into the fabric of our society.
These sectors have a positive impact on people’s everyday lives and make a significant contribution to the economy. Take our booming technology sector; it employs 2.1 million people, contributes £184bn a year to the economy and has attracted record levels of foreign investment this year.
While this sector has become a great success story, it is essential that we have the domestic, world-class digital infrastructure to match, so no consumer is left behind. That is why we’re pushing ahead with our full-fibre broadband rollout, prioritising the hardest-to-reach areas.
And I have launched a £30m nationwide competition that will see rural communities trial 5G technology, offering mobile speeds 10 to 20 times faster than 4G.
In the meantime we are continuing to support the UK tech sector so we can continue to maximise its potential to drive growth, productivity and create high-value jobs across the UK.
We want to develop our reputation as the best place in the world to start and grow a digital business, while making sure the UK is the safest place in the world to be online.
The internet is an amazing resource; however, we do not dispute that it has a dark side with some users seizing on social media to bully, intimidate or promote terrorism. I will continue to lead the Government’s approach to new regulation set out in our Online Harms white paper that will help tackle these very serious issues. We know that sport has the power to bring us together and to inspire greater sporting participation. As was made clear at London 2012, not only do we put in great sporting performances, we also put on great sporting events. The men’s Cricket World Cup and women’s Netball World Cup enthralled audiences around the globe, and they are just two of the championships the UK hosted in 2019 alone.
We want to continue to bring the biggest events to the UK to complement the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham 2022, so I have asked my department to explore what other events we could host in the not-too-distant future.
DCMS has also been leading work across government on the challenges and opportunities for young people outside of school. As a champion of initiatives such as the National Citizen Service, I will use the next year to prioritise this work, developing a youth offer that ensures all young people have opportunities to thrive and engage in their local communities.
We will also continue to champion our world-class creative, cultural and heritage assets, such as our film industry and major museums, which do so much to increase our international standing.
Last year, one in nine albums sold around the world were by British recording artists, our films earn one-sixth of total global receipts, and four of the top 10 most visited museums in the world are here in the UK.
We want our sectors to continue to lead the way and ensure that the best possible creative talent can come and work here, while helping more of our creative firms to forge international links.
I will do all I can to support our media and creative industries, and our cultural institutions. I will encourage participation in sport and the arts from people of all backgrounds, provide opportunities for our young people to develop outside of school, and help ensure we have the digital infrastructure to give us a competitive advantage in the world.
These sectors make a huge contribution to our shared success and prosperity, and it is vital that they continue to go from strength to strength. In me, they will find a great champion.
Nicky Morgan is Conservative MP for Loughborough and culture secretary