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More money to harness talent and skill, and economic growth

4 May 2018

One of the latest sector deals to be announced by government is for the cultural and creative industries.

The South East Midlands – and Luton and Milton Keynes specifically – has UK-recognised clusters of high performing, fast-growing businesses in this sector. This is the reason why the culture and creative sector is one of our showcase sectors.

So we’re keen to unpack exactly what a cultural and creative sector deal could bring for businesses in our region.

What is the sector deal?

  • Overall - £150m joint investment from government and industry
  • Including a £20m Cultural Development Fund from which partnerships of LEPs and local authorities and others can bid for place-based investment
  • £64m investment in a Creative Industries and Cluster Programme to deliver eight R&D partnerships and a policy and evidence centre
  • £58m for an ‘audiences for the future’ programme to enable creative businesses to harness the power of immersive technologies to create content, products and services.
  • Further funding to support careers development, access to finance and intensive investment readiness support and further support for entrepreneurism in areas that entice young people into the business. 

What is the overall ambition?

  • 50% increase in reported exports for the sector by 2023
  • Sustained growth – contributing £150bn GVA to the economy by 2023
  • 600,000 new jobs in the sector by 2023

What does this mean?

 The economic data shows us that a high proportion of people working in the sector are freelancers (47% in comparison to 15% across the economy), and many are currently working in micro-businesses. This presents great opportunity for growth but  with increasing competition from overseas, as well as the need to mitigate challenges brought about by EU exit, we want to ensure we do the right thing to target investment and support this sector to help future-proof its success and maintain our position at the top of the cultural and creative industries league. 

We are developing some clear priorities, working with partners in the South East Midlands Cultural and Creative Sector Group, on what we can do to support strong growth in these businesses. There are also other investment streams that we are working with government to develop, including the Shared Prosperity Fund, which will replace the current  funding streams – Local Growth Fund and EU Structural and Infrastructure Fund . We will continue to work with our partners and with government to make the case for investment in our region. We have our partnership with the British Business Bank to help small business access much-needed finance and our Growth Hubs continue to provide dedicated information, advice and brokerage for business support.

The launch of the government’s sector deal brings a welcome focus on the potential of the cultural and creative sector and the contribution that the businesses in our area can bring to the UK economy.

Over the next few months, we’ll be taking a deeper look at this sector as we prepare our Local Industrial Strategy for the South East Midlands, and across the wider Oxford-Milton Keynes- Cambridge Growth Corridor. This work will help us unpack what this government is interested in within this sector, and for us to best tap into the funding opportunities available from this sector deal and develop a bid for funding.

We’ll keep you posted on progress with this specifically as we seek business views. . In the meantime, if you’re a business in the cultural and creative sector, and are eager to know more, why not get involved in the sector group to help shape investment plans for your future. Contact us with your ideas at info@semlep.com

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