Councils urged to back creative industries

COUNCILS across the country are backing the creative industries to help drive economic recovery in local areas, the Local Government Association and Creative Industries Federation set out today. 

The LGA, which represents councils in England and Wales, has today published a guide to help councils to support their local creative industries recover from the coronavirus pandemic and to boost the creative economy.

Latest government statistics show that creative industries – including small and medium businesses and organisations that specialise in arts, culture, design, music and TV & film – contribute more than £111 billion to the UK economy.

Many councils are trying to continue supporting the creative industry in their local areas, despite significant funding pressures as a result of the pandemic.

The handbook will help councils learn from best practice when looking to implement new creative economy strategies in their areas, ensuring that the creative industries can play a key role in the national economy recovery.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Chair of the LGA’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said:

“Local creative industries can be the cornerstone of recovery for our communities and local economies from the impact of COVID-19. 

“Councils have a unique perspective of viewing the creative economy through place and this guide will help councils across the country to unlock the potential of their creative communities to bounce forwards towards a better society and economy. 

“We are calling on the Government to support this work and to ensure that councils retain the planning powers they need to curate their communities and grow their local economies.”

Caroline Norbury MBE, Chief Executive of Creative Industries Federation & Creative England said:

“Our creative sector is an economic powerhouse. The creative industries bring people into our towns and cities. They are intrinsic to building atmosphere, to a sense of place and civic pride, and investment into creativity is critical if we want to level-up the country.

“In order to build back better, we must learn from the past. Research shows that following the 2008 financial crash, previously strong regional creative sector growth trends fell away, and growth coalesced around fewer clusters once more. Experience shows that when crisis hits, the regions suffer. As we plan for an economic recovery, regional focus is key. We need to use local knowledge and devolved power to build tailored, community-owned responses from the bottom up.”

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