Creatives Call on Conservative Government to Back Industry

by Yasmin Perez | 17th May 2017

Digital and Culture Minister, Matthew Hancock, addressed a collective of politically conscious leaders at the forefront of the creative industry today at HKX, home of Maitland Political and the Havas Group.

The event, hosted in partnership with the Creative Industries Federation, opened a space for interestedcreatives–either members of the arts and digital design industries or otherwise–to discuss with Mr Hancock his party’s aims and commitments for the future of the creative industry.

Chris Hirst, CEO of Havas Europe (left), Matt Hancock, Culture Minister (centre) and John Kampfner, CEO of Creative Industries Federation (right).

As the UK’s fastest growing sector, the creative industry contributes an estimated £90bn net to GDP and accounts for one in eleven jobs in the country. In January, the industry was labelled by the Conservative government as one of the 10 core ‘pillars’ of their Industrial Strategy.

Hancock echoed this sentiment today, by acknowledging (in a way the Coalition Government failed to do) the strong link between good arts education and a strong economy. He also repeatedly referenced the Conservative’s interest in getting more funding out of London and into rural and devolved areas, as well as being more active in the support of the industry moving forward. Hancock also admitted that the historic protection of property rights that the Conservatives had espoused was not enough in a digital world – now it also had to defend intellectual property rights as well.

The creative industry was also one large professional group that overwhelmingly advocated – perhaps more than any other publically– in favour of remaining in the EU. A survey on the Creative Industries Federation’s members revealed that they had voted 96% to “remain”.

This consensus has led to concerns about the absence of any special measures to help it after Brexit–unlike, for example, financial pass-porting for the City. Unsurprisingly, asking for the Conservatives’ ‘roadmap’ out of the EU was a key theme of the Q&A, and Hancock, again unsurprisingly, fell back on those well-known key Conservative messages of “a good deal” and a “strong and stable” Government.

Nevertheless, he did demonstrate a keen understanding and passionate commitment throughout. Talking to many of the audience members afterwards, they revealed to the minister that they did actually have a positive outlook – they felt the government could see the worth of their industry and was certainly listening to what they had to say.

About the Author

Yasmin Perez

Yasmin is currently focused on contributing overall communications strategy and research to Maitland Political and Maitland Green for London and internationally based clientele, specializing on public affairs and sustainability issues.

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