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Hammond warned against neglecting creative sector

While welcoming support for new arts projects and high-speed broadband, a UK industry body says the chancellor risks focusing "narrowly on science and tech"

By IQ on 24 Nov 2016

Philip Hammond, Patrick Tsui/FCO

image © Patrick Tsui/FCO

The UK’s Creative Industries Federation has reacted with cautious optimism to what it calls yesterday’s “sober autumn statement … in the face of great uncertainty and worrying economic figures” by chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond.

The federation’s chief executive, John Kampfner, has praised measures “which might benefit” the creative sector, including a £1 billion investment in high-speed broadband, £1.6 million for the new Studio 44 arts complex in Southampton, additional support for UK Export Finance and £1.8bn for local enterprise partnerships in England, but says the statement “appear[ed] to focus support for innovation and R&D [too] narrowly on science and tech”.

“The creative industries are the fastest-growing sector of the UK economy. […] We can deliver so much more if we are made a priority sector in the government’s thinking,” comments Kampfner.

“We can deliver so much more if we are made a priority sector in the government’s thinking”

While acknowledging the positives, Kampfner notes “there are several areas which have not been discussed today, such as education, skills and training, including apprenticeships, which we would hope will have a bigger place in the industrial strategy”.

The Creative Industries Federation last month published its Brexit Report, which called for “the creative industries to be put at the heart of government thinking as the country develops its new industrial strategy, forges new international trade deals and tackles the fractures in society exposed by June’s EU referendum vote”.

Hammond’s (pictured) speech can be viewed or read in full at the British government website.


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