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Creative UK calls for ‘radical new action’ to address outdated financial models

Creative UK, the national network for creative industries, has launched a manifesto ahead of the UK’s forthcoming general election calling for “radical new action” across the country’s cultural and creative industries.

Caroline Norbury

With the UK set to go to the polls in the second half of 2024, Creative UK has published a manifesto titled Our Creative Future that has been developed with insight from organisations including TV and film union Bectu.

The manifesto sets out how, with the right investment, the UK’s cultural and creative industries can generate social and economic prosperity across the country as it contends with low economic growth and stagnating employment.

It calls for “radical new action” to respond to key issues facing the sector, such as removing barriers to access and introducing new funding models, as well as outlining how any future UK government can support more sustainable freelance careers.

With 28% of the workforce of the cultural and creative industries freelance, Creative UK has called for the appointment of a freelance commissioner to act as a voice for freelancers within government, in particular to champion accessible pensions and late payments reform.

The manifesto also calls for greater access to creative education; maintaining the UK’s “gold standard” intellectual property protections for the cultural and creative industries in the age of artificial intelligence; and a new cultural touring agreement with the EU to allow enhanced freedom of movement for UK creatives.

Other organisations to have contributed to the manifesto include the Royal Shakespeare Company, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, The National Theatre, Ubisoft and the British Phonographic Industry.

The manifesto has been officially launched today at Heatherwick Studio, in partnership with new collective, Land of Hope & Story.

Caroline Norbury OBE, chief executive at Creative UK, said: “This is a decisive moment for the UK’s cultural and creative industries. The sector is driving real growth for the economy, while creating jobs and meaningful work at an extraordinary pace. However, creatives are also struggling with issues such as widespread cuts to creative education, reducing levels of funding and financial models that are no longer fit for purpose, as well as difficult trading conditions.

“How we act today will lay the foundations for tomorrow’s successes. Outlined in our manifesto are six areas which we believe will bring maximum benefit to our country. This publication is not about dwelling on problems. It’s about providing solutions. There is a version of the future where the cultural and creative industries are not only thriving but are driving growth across the wider economy.”

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