further & higher education
local government
voluntary sector

UK Creative Industries: Encouraging Growth and Increasing Access

further & higher education

local government

voluntary sector

08:45 - 16:15

Thursday 30 April 2020

Central London

Early Bird Discount Offer 10% off all advertised rates for a limited time only. Discount available to public / voluntary organisations only.

This Forum will bring together practitioners from local authorities, non-profit organisations, higher education institutions, local enterprise partnerships and creative firms to discuss how to maintain and enhance the outstanding growth experienced across the creative economic industries. Keynote speakers will examine what government is doing to assist the creative sector as part of the Industrial Strategy, how to ensure the vitality of the sector post-Brexit, and what the future holds for creative individuals and companies. Moreover, case studies will share guidance on how cross-sectoral working can aid regional growth in the creative milieu, as well as how to widen access to the industry and fill the creative skills gap.


This Forum will bring together Local Authorities, Further and Higher Education and Charities. Typical job titles will include:

  • Digital Creative Leads
  • Local Councillors
  • Cabinet Members for Culture and Creative Industries
  • Cabinet Members for Youth
  • Cabinet Members for Culture and Arts
  • Community Outreach Officers
  • Members of Local Enterprise Partnership Boards
  • Commercial Enterprise Directors
  • Professors of Arts, Humanities and Cultural Studies
  • Professors of Digital Technology
  • Professors of Film and Television
  • Innovation Managers
  • Vice-Chancellors – Partnership and Knowledge Exchange
  • Creative Research Fund Directors
  • Creative Skills Leads
  • Heads of Creative Policy and Public Affairs
  • Widening Participation Managers

This Forum is also open to the Private Sector to encourage discussion and networking.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Dr Paul Meller, Associate Director of Programmes, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
  • Jim Farmery, Head of Partnerships, Creative England
  • Josie Dobrin, Co-Founder and Chief Executive, Creative Access 
  • Martin Bright, Founder & CEO, The Creative Society 
  • Sarah Windrum, Board Director, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) and Chair, West Midlands Digital Group
  • Liz Moran, Director of Arts and Culture, University of Kent
  • Professor James Bennett, Director, StoryFutures, Royal Holloway University of London
View the agenda and additional speakers


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Natalie Brett, Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of College, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London (CONFIRMED)

Session 1 – Policy and Funding


Morning Keynote: Unlocking Growth and Improving Access Across the Creative Industries

  • Working with the Creative Industries Council and the Creative Industries Federation to establish a Sector Deal, investing £150 million across the lifecycle of creative business as part of the Industrial Strategy
  • Supporting creative research and development partnerships across Britain by making £39 million available through the Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • Utilising the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to harness the power of immersive virtual and augmented reality technologies
  • Rolling out a £20 million Cultural Development Fund over two years for local partnerships to invest in culture and creative industries, managed by the Arts Council England
  • Establishing a Trade and Investment Board with the ambition of achieving a 50% increase in creative industry exports by 2023
  • Tackling the skills gap through an industry-led creative careers programme aiming to reach at least 2,000 schools and 600,000 pupils

Helen Whately MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism), Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) (invited)


Special Keynote: Bringing Together the Creative Industries to Find Policy Solutions for the Future

  • Working with Government to develop a comprehensive Sector Deal that reflects the current and future strategic needs of the creative industries
  • Implementing the Create Together strategy 2016-2020, developed collaboratively with government and industry to set ambitious yet achievable goals
  • Explaining how the progression of the strategy will be assessed and monitored to effectively evaluate success
  • Committing to tackle barriers to growth facing the sector, such as access to finance, skills, export markets, regulation, intellectual property and infrastructure
  • Increasing engagement with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and other key regional bodies to support growth for the creative industries

Jim Farmery, Head of Partnerships, Creative England (CONFIRMED)


Sponsored Session


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking

Session 2 – Widening Access and Enhancing Skills


Case Study: Providing Opportunities, Skills and Education to Widen Access to the Film Industry

  • Laying out the strategic priorities of BFI2022, a 5 year plan designed to expand educational opportunities and skills for young people seeking to enter the film industry
  • Continuing to work in collaboration with Into Film, BFI Film Academy partners around the UK, Screen Skills, and film educators in the Film Audience Network
  • Recognising the mismatch between skills needed by employers and the skills provided by the education system with respect to film careers
  • Developing a new professional skills framework and clear progression paths for talented young people with a passion for film
  • Creating a single, coherent source of quality careers information for the screen industry, and embedding this within national careers resources and education
  • Establishing the BFI Diversity Standards and working closely with industry to disseminate workforce expectations to employers

Ben Roberts, Incoming Chief Executive, British Film Institute (BFI) (invited)


Case Study: Widening Access to the UK Creative Industries as a Non-Profit Organisation

  • Helping young people from Black, Asian and other non-white Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds to secure paid training opportunities in creative firms
  • Working closely with employers to secure opportunities for talented BAME individuals
  • Hosting an Opportunities Board for employers to list paid positions in creative organisations, giving them exposure to Creative Access’ database of over 30,000 candidates
  • Working with the Government to help put unemployed people into creative placements in artistic and cultural enterprises
  • Running the Creative Job Studio in partnership with Somerset House and funded by the Arts Council; allowing young people to meet employers in creative companies, discuss skills development, and network with other creatives

Josie Dobrin, Co-Founder and Chief Executive, Creative Access (CONFIRMED)

Martin Bright, Founder & CEO, The Creative Society (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Boosting Creative Industries through Skills Development Across Further Education

Brian Warrens, Lecturer in Production Arts (Technical Theatre) and Creative & Cultural Apprenticeship Assessor, South Essex College (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking

Session 3 – Research Partnerships


Afternoon Keynote: Exploring How Research Contributes to the Continued Success of the Creative Sector

  • Forging innovative new partnerships between the creative industries and higher education institutions through the Creative Industries Clusters Programme, Audience of the Future Programme and beyond
  • Providing independent research and recommendations to aid the development of policies for the UK’s creative industries through the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre
  • Conducting research about, with and for the creative industries, working with industry partners at every level, from research and development to strategy and governance
  • Supporting the role of arts and humanities research in catalysing exciting ways to create and develop creative products and experiences
  • Recognising research excellence in creative endeavour – the Research in Film Awards and beyond

Dr Paul Meller, Associate Director of Programmes, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Innovation in Immersive Storytelling through Creative Industries R&D

  • Securing funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council for the StoryFutures Academy, to offer cutting-edge training through immersive projects for the creative industries
  • Building a sustainable and collaborative R&D partnership around the ‘Gateway’ Creative Cluster to fuel growth within and between creative SMEs, in the area west of London – including setting out the benefits for industry and regional players and how success will be measured
  • Detailing 2-3 case studies in creative industries R&D that demonstrate industry-academic collaboration with audience facing prototypes, including the National Gallery’s first ever VR and AR experiences and the world’s first interactive and immersive coffee-cup recycling bin with Heathrow

Professor James Bennett, Director, StoryFutures, Royal Holloway University of London (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking

Session 4 – International Reach through Local Growth 


Case Study: Developing Europe’s Largest Creative Corridor

  • Supporting the creation of a local cultural plan to make use of £4.3 million of the government’s Cultural Development Fund (CDF) to boost culture-led economic growth and productivity in the Thames Estuary corridor
  • Outlining plans for the funding, including a programme of activity to develop cultural infrastructure, research and development, and capacity building for local businesses
  • Sharing developments around the Estuary 2020 festival planned for September, to promote new local commissioning and collaborations, and considering how other towns could look to promote something similar on a scaled basis
  • Collaborating with the University of Essex on the Creative Labs project: Gathering creatives, technologists and academics to explore how culture can address societal issues such as town planning, aging and mental health
  • Creating 60 apprenticeships for 15-24 year olds in line with the SELEP Skills Strategy, working in partnership with higher and further education providers, schools, creative freelancers, local businesses and skills agencies

Liz Moran, Director of Arts and Culture, University of Kent (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Demonstrating the Value of Local Enterprise Partnerships in Bolstering Regional Creative Industries

  • Undertaking a two-year programme to grow the games industry and wider digital creative sector in the West Midlands, working with the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment
  • Developing and growing the established gaming and creative cluster in and around Leamington Spa
  • Implementing recommendations from CWLEP’s 2017 ‘The Games Industry in Coventry and Warwickshire – a Blueprint for Growth’ report
  • Ensuring the programme is industry-led via a local steering group, as well as being built into the national creative industries strategy
  • Establishing a games sector specialist role in order to bring investors and local game businesses together
  • Providing events, training and resources to aid local creative business growth
  • Embedding a digital skills strand into the programme for the wider digital creative sector

Sarah Windrum, Board Director, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) and Chair, West Midlands Digital Group (CONFIRMED)

Tim Scott, Head of Policy & Public Affairs, Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie) (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair's Summary and Close

*Programme subject to change

The UK’s creative industries are the fastest growing part of the economy, on track to create one million new jobs between 2013 and 2030, according to research by Nesta and the Creative Industries Council. The sector is worth £92 billion in Gross Value Added (GVA), bigger than the oil, gas, life sciences, automotive and aeronautics industries combined, and is growing at twice the rate of the rest of the economy.

However, the Global Talent Report conducted by the Creative Industries Federation (CIF) in 2017 found that nearly 60% of creative employers are facing skills shortages when employing new people. This is set against a background where the number of children taking performing and expressive arts at GCSE has fallen by 26% over the past five years. Moreover, the CIF has warned that the UK could suffer a “disastrous skills shortage” following Brexit after research found that 75% of UK creative businesses employ EU workers, a finding affirmed by a June 2018 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee report. Urgent action is therefore required to ensure young people are being provided with the skills, opportunities and pathways necessary to enter careers in the creative industries, in order to maintain the economic viability of the sector.

Other barriers to growth in the creative industries include issues surrounding access to finance, the accessibility of export markets, regulation, intellectual property and infrastructure. More must also be done to close the north-south gap in creative industries employment, with productivity in London growing at 2.7% annually from 2011-2017, compared to 0.4% across the rest of the UK.

In order to overcome these problems and ensure that the UK’s creative sector continues to thrive globally, the Government announced a new Sector Deal in March 2018 as part of its Industrial Strategy. Led by the Creative Industries Council, the Sector Deal will invest £150 million across the lifecycle of creative businesses, with the aim of increasing creative exports by 50% and creating 600,000 new jobs by 2023.

To achieve these goals, various funding and policy initiatives have been launched, including £20 million over 2 years for a Cultural Development Fund, £58 million to harness the power of immersive technologies, a creative industry and government Trade and Investment Board, and £39 million for a Creative Clusters Programme led by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to fund 8 research partnerships.

In October 2019, the Creative Industries Federation and Creative England launched a 10-point manifesto, provided to all political parties, demanding future policy to tackle inequalities in regional funding, avoid skills shortages and continue global competitiveness post-Brexit.

In order to unlock the full economic and social potential of the creative industries, the Sector Deal will need to be accompanied by a cohesive, determined and collective response from local authorities, voluntary organisations, higher education and local enterprise partnerships. Only a holistic and cross-sectoral response will effectively overcome the barriers currently inhibiting the growth of the creative industries, and allow creative individuals and firms to flourish.

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