Skip to content

A Manifesto for the Creative Economy

This manifesto sets out our 10-point plan to bolster the creative industries, one of the UK's fastest growing sectors.

Key findings:

  • The UK creative economy provides jobs for 2.5 million people, more than financial services, advanced manufacturing or construction.
  • The creative economy is one of the few industrial areas where the UK has a credible claim to be world–leading, but history shows this position of leadership position cannot be taken for granted.
  • Our 10 recommendations include incentivising experimentation with digital technologies by arts and cultural organisations, developing local creative clusters, adopting our new definitions of the creative industries and economy - which are simple, robust and recognise the central role of digital technologies - and ensuring government funding schemes do not discriminate against creative businesses.

The UK's creative economy is one of its great national strengths, historically deeply rooted and accounting for around one-tenth of the whole economy. It provides jobs for 2.5 million people – more than in financial services, advanced manufacturing or construction – and in recent years, this creative workforce has grown four times faster than the workforce as a whole.

But behind this success lies much disruption and business uncertainty, associated with digital technologies. Previously profitable business models have been swept away, young companies from outside the UK have dominated new internet markets, and some UK creative businesses have struggled to compete.

UK policymakers too have failed to keep pace with developments in North America and parts of Asia. But it is not too late to refresh tired policies. Here's our 10-point plan to bolster one of the UK's fastest growing sectors.

Authors

Hasan Bakhshi, Ian Hargreaves and Juan Mateos-Garcia

Authors

Juan Mateos-Garcia

Juan Mateos-Garcia

Juan Mateos-Garcia

Head of Innovation Mapping

Juan is the head of innovation mapping at Nesta. There, he leads a team of data scientists, developers, visualisers and innovation experts working in projects using new datasets, ana...

View profile
Hasan Bakhshi

Hasan Bakhshi

Hasan Bakhshi

Executive Director, Creative Economy and Data Analytics

Hasan leads Nesta's creative and digital economy policy and research.

View profile