This paper argues that new DCMS statistics on the cultural sector alongside the creative industries estimates will create an important opportunity to revisit the scope of cultural policy in the UK.
- The government should publish official statistics which allow both cultural and creative activity to be taken full account of, acknowledging both the substantial overlap between the two areas of activity, as well as dealing as best as possible with the challenges that tend to underestimate the extent of cultural activity, for example the importance of voluntary labour.
- As well improving the evidence base for policy, the publication of cultural statistics will bring to greater prominence such matters as the scope of the cultural sector as recognised by government; who cultural policy is being made for, and who is making it; what counts as cultural participation, and the importance of cultural economy vs cultural industries.
- By clarifying the distinctions between culture and creative industries, the DCMS will open the way for more effective cultural and economy policy (the latter being what creative industries policy will properly be seen to be).
Hasan Bakhshi and Stuart Cunningham