The UK music industry welcomes select committee backing for the creative content sector

DATE: 18 February 2011

UK Music wishes to thank the Business, Innovations and Skills Committee for recommending that this country’s music industry is treated as “an industry”, and that Government realises the potential of the creative content sector to drive economic growth.

Published in the Third Report of Session 2010-11, Government Assistance To Industry, the Committee today (February 18th) makes two key recommendations relevant to music and other creative content sectors.

These are:

1. That the Department for Business, Innovations & Skills (DBIS) develops a more structured approach to the creative industries and considers establishing a specific Industrial Council

“The creative industries sector is a significant wealth creator in the United Kingdom. It is therefore surprising that Government engagement with the sector appears to be somewhat haphazard. While we welcome the creation of an ad hoc ministerial committee to cover the sector we believe that a more structured approach would be more beneficial. Industrial Councils have been established for the automotive, aerospace and marine sectors and we recommend that the Department consider establishing a similar council for the creative industries.”

2. That creative entrepreneurs – as recognised drivers of economic growth – can gain access to finance, and specifically, and as a matter of urgency, from the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme

“The Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme should be available to all sectors of the economy. It is therefore unacceptable that the creative industries sector— which is one of the six sectors designated by the Government as growth sectors— is effectively being excluded from this avenue of funding. We recommend that the Government, as a matter of urgency, ensure that the criteria for receiving EFG funding is sufficiently flexible to accommodate the creative industries. We expect the Government, in its Response to this Report, to set out clearly how it will achieve this aim.”

Both recommendations were key elements in Liberating Creativity, UK Music’s manifesto for the future of commercial music sector, which was published last year.

Commenting on the report, UK Music CEO Feargal Sharkey said: “Music generates revenues of nearly £4bn a year for this country. It sustains an estimated 100,000 jobs. And, vitally, it is a driver of economic growth in terms of tourism, in terms of a host of ancillary businesses and in terms of the digital economy.

“I am delighted that the Select Committee has recognised our potential, and particularly the need for the music industry to be treated as “an industry”. Like all other sectors of the economy, we need coordinated policy-making and our creators and investors require access to finance and support.

“In terms of talent and entrepreneurialism, the UK is already globally-renowned. Our artists and composers consistently deliver the kind of high quality content that the whole world demands. With support from the Department of Business, now commonly referred to as the “Department of Growth”, I am positive we can deliver even more benefit for UK plc.”

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