The government has announced its sector deal for the creative industries with more than £150 million to be jointly invested by government and industry to “help cultural and creative businesses across Britain thrive.”

A Cultural Development Fund will also be launched for cities and towns to bid for a share of £20 million to invest in creative and cultural initiatives.

The government says the Sector Deal aims to double Britain’s share of the global creative immersive content market by 2025 and is  investing over £33 million in immersive technologies such as virtual reality video games, interactive art shows and augmented reality experiences in tourism.

Up to £2 million will be made available to kickstart an industry-led skills package, including a creative careers programme which will reach at least 2,000 schools and 600,000 pupils in 2 years. A new London Screen Academy, with places for up to 1000 students, will also open in 2019.

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Matt Hancock, said: “Britain’s creative industries are an economic and cultural powerhouse and this ambitious deal will make sure they continue to thrive as we build a Britain fit for the future. Our creative industries will help develop the talent of the future, ensure people are rightly rewarded for their creative content and give our firms the support they need to compete on the global stage. Millions of people around the world enjoy our world-class artistic and cultural output and we want Britain to stay a frontrunner in these vibrant sectors.”

Commenting on the deal Josh Berger, President and Managing Director, Warner Bros. UK and Chair of the British Film Institute said: “Incredible crews, fantastic facilities and the Government’s direct and continuing support for the creative industries – through organisations such as the BFI, and now the sector’s formal inclusion in the industrial strategy – are crucial to a thriving production industry in the UK. Warner Bros’ experience in the UK has been such a positive one, from developing state of the art facilities and helping train the next generation of creative talent, to the entire business of producing our films here. We have been investing in the UK for many years because for us this country is, alongside Hollywood, the best place in the world to make movies.”

Nicola Mendelsohn, Co-Chair of the Creative Industries Council, said: “This breakthrough deal represents a huge vote of confidence in our creative industries to continue to deliver the world class economic performance and workforce that the UK needs. We look forward to working together with government to realise its full benefits and the potential of the creative industries in all parts of the UK.”

The commitments include:

    •    £72 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund with £39 million for the Arts and Humanities Research Council to support 8 creative research and development partnerships across Britain and £33 million to invest in immersive technology products, services and experiences. This will support new uses of virtual reality in areas like video games, interactive art shows and augmented reality experiences in tourism that will capture the world’s attention and double Britain’s share of the global creative immersive content market by 2025.
    •    £2 million to extend the ‘Get it Right’ campaign to tackle online piracy and educate consumers on the value of copyright and direct them to legitimate websites.
    •    A new free school based in Islington with places for 1,000 students (16+) from across the capital. The London Screen Academy’s curriculum will include UAL Creative Diploma and A-levels and is set to open in Sept 2019. Improved access to finance from the British Business Bank for high-growth businesses outside of London, including those in the creative sector. In addition, government will invest up to £4 million in a new programme of investment readiness support for creative businesses.
    •    A new creative industries Trade and Investment Board, comprising industry and government, to replace the current Sector Advisory Group with the ambition of increasing creative industry exports by 50% by 2023 and boosting the number of creative businesses exporting.
    •    New action to crackdown on copyright infringement. A landmark code of practice brokered by government and industry in 2017 reduced the prominence of illegal sites returned in search results. A series of roundtables between rights holders and platforms will consider the need for and develop a similar approach in relation to the online advertising industry, social media, and online marketplaces.

Staff Reporter

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