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Today Nesta has published A Manifesto for the Creativity Economy, setting out a ten-point plan to bolster one of the UK's fastest growing sectors1 in the face of digital disruption.

As the manifesto shows, the UK's creative economy employs more people than the financial services, advanced manufacturing or construction, and accounts for approximately 10 per cent of value added in the economy as a whole.

But, if the UK doesn't take strong action, this UK success story could go the way of the automotive and computing industries - where an early lead was lost - in the face of mounting and innovative global competition.

The manifesto calls for action to ensure that the internet remains a place of open, contestable markets for UK companies and for co-ordinated new thinking in education, arts funding, tax, intellectual property, access to finance and the role of major cultural institutions, such as the BBC.

Priorities are to: 

  • Safeguard the next generation of the internet by ensuring it is truly open
  • Give every teenager the chance to create digitally - from digital animation and games to apps
  • Ensure the many tools designed to incentivise innovation - from tax reliefs to procurement - are adapted to fit the creative economy
  • Help the UK's creative powerhouses - from the BBC to museums and galleries - make the most of the next generation of digital technologies

At the heart of Nesta's manifesto is the need for policymakers to adopt a revised definition of the creative industries which asserts the pivotal importance of creative talent and, for the first time, an allied one for the creative economy, which reflects all the sectors that use creative talent for commercial purposes.

Hasan Bakhshi, report co-author and director of creative economy at Nesta, comments, "Young companies outside the UK have dominated Internet markets and UK creative businesses have struggled to compete. There is still a vast opportunity but we need the right policy, regulatory and skills infrastructure in place to build on our world class position in the creative economy. It is not too late for the UK to get this right but we are running out of time."

- Ends -

Notes to editors:

For media enquiries please contact Sarah Reardon at Nesta on 020 7438 2606 or email [email protected]

1 Between 2004 and 2010, the creative economy workforce grew more than four times the workforce as a whole

A Manifesto for the Creative Economy will be published at an event held at Nesta's London headquarters this morning (11.30am, 23 April 2013)

About Nesta:

Nesta is the UK's innovation foundation. We help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. We do this by providing investments and grants and mobilising research, networks and skills. We are an independent charity and our work is enabled by an endowment from the National Lottery.

Nesta Operating Company is a registered charity in England and Wales with a company number 7706036 and charity number 1144091. Registered as a charity in Scotland number SC042833. Registered office: 1 Plough Place, London, EC4A 1DE.