The creative industry has contributed £7.7bn to the UK economy, and is rapidly becoming one of the largest employers in the country. Currently, there are around 1.8 million jobs in the creative industry and in 2013-2014 the rise in employment within the sector was 5.5%, way above the 2.1% national rise.
Publicly-funded organisations have been particularly successful. A report published by The Creative Industries Federation in July 2015 stated that these organisations in particular "produce ideas, talent, R&D and technical brilliance" (The Creative Industries Federation 2015) and this ultimately contributes to other areas such as IT and advertising. Here in the UK, the creative sector is a vibrant combination of both private and publicly funded companies, and the report suggests that keeping this blend will be crucial to sustaining the sector's growth.
Whilst all this is great and welcome news for anyone operating in the creative sector, the report also highlights some areas for improvement. For example, there is still a large imbalance between the industry in London and the South East and other areas of the UK. Nearly half of all jobs within the creative industry are located in or around the capital, and the report highlights the importance of regional growth to the overall economy and how the creative industry is a vital player in contributing to regional growth. Universities can be a great place to finding unique, creative talent looking for a platform to showcase their work, and this could be a good first step in correcting this imbalance.
Creativity has already benefitted the cities of Liverpool, Birmingham and Coventry. In 2008, Liverpool was named the EU Capital of Culture. Not only was this prestigious accolade a great chance for Liverpool's creatives to showcase their work, but the award meant that Liverpool brought in nearly 10 million additional visits to the city during this period. As a result, an economic impact of£753.8 million was generated according to The Creative Industries Federation report.
In Birmingham, where around 40% of the population are aged under 25, there are several creative networks. The 6000 technology firms that operate from Birmingham employ around 40 000 people, and the city's universities are also playing their part. Coventry, Birmingham's Midlands neighbour is also home to a creative hub. Since its opening in September 2014, Fargo Village has been home to a range of creative shops and studios, and was created as part of a further regeneration project of the city. Fargo Village's contribution to Coventry was honoured in April 2015 with a prestigious award and the hub itself appears to be growing.
With such a vibrant and diverse creative industry performing so well, continual investment will hopefully ensure that the sector continues to thrive. It is an exciting time for creative individuals and organisations, but time will tell whether this success will continue.