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Creative Industries Federation Welcomes Warwick Commission On Future Cultural Value - ArtLyst Article image

Creative Industries Federation Welcomes Warwick Commission On Future Cultural Value

17-02-2015
 
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The Creative Industries Federation today welcomed the Warwick Commission’s report as an important step in uniting the UK’s arts, creative industries and cultural education.

Federation Founder and Chair Sir John Sorrell said: "It is time, indeed it is long overdue, for the UK's public arts, creative industries and cultural education institutions to join together. I am delighted that the Warwick Commission has endorsed our decision to establish the Creative Industries Federation. In its first two months of activity, the Federation has already established its position as the single voice, the national membership body bringing together all the sectors, private and public, the length and breadth of the land."

Federation CEO John Kampfner said: “The Warwick Commission sets out a number of important challenges for the arts and creative industries. Working with our partners, we look forward to acting on many of its findings.”

The Federation, which was launched in November 2014, is the national membership organisation for all the UK’s public arts, commercial creative industries and cultural education. Through its political events, UK roadshow events and partnerships, and policy work, it is already focusing on several of the areas that the Warwick Commission has highlighted. Its annual report, drawn up with many of the UK’s leading academics and thinkers and due in autumn 2015, will take forward the research.

The federation's ethos is to bring the multinational company together with the symphony orchestra, the digital start-up with the art gallery; the university with the architects' practice; the film studio with the individual potter or playwright. Each of our members, large and small, public and private, from all our nations and regions, will bring different experiences and goals; but each shares a common cause in furthering the success of Britain's cultural and creative life.

The organisation encourages public arts organisations to be more entrepreneurial. They encourage private companies to look beyond their bottom line, to share the responsibility for creating a stronger civil society. The public and private sectors have a common interest in working more closely together. They both know that their long-term strength depends on a thriving cultural education. Creative excellence should not depend on the location of the business or community group. They help all our members spot talent and swap ideas.

A major report published today, Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth, argues that the Cultural and Creative Industries are one entity, an ecosystem, which is becoming increasingly important to British life, the British Economy, and Britain’s place in the world. However, we are failing to build on our strengths as a creative nation, or realise an acceptable degree of access and participation.
 
The report reminds us that the Cultural and Creative Industries are the fastest growing industry in the UK. The Gross Value Added of the sector was estimated as £76.9 billion in 2013, representing 5% of the UK economy.
 
But the Commission’s analysis reveals how the synergies across the cultural and creative ecosystem can be supported much more effectively. There is an urgent need for a national plan for the sector that maximises cultural, economic and social return. This would be produced by the government Departments for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Education (DfE). The lack of joined up policy making is limiting participation and not realising the full value of public investment.
 
The report also reveals the extent to which the successes of the Cultural and Creative Industries as a whole are dependent on the ideas, talent development, and R&D across the whole ecosystem. The Commission believes that any further reductions from current levels of public investment will undermine the ecosystem – meaning less creative risk, talent development, and diminishing future financial and creative returns. The report suggests ways that existing investment can work harder, with public and private investors and cultural leaders developing a new model for the publicly funded elements of the cultural and creative industries that will maximise their commercial potential.
 
Finally, the Commission’s analysis throws down a sharp challenge to all those who value how culture enriches people’s lives. Levels of access and participation still comprehensively fail to reflect the rich diversity of our population. We are all impoverished as a result, culturally and economically. The Commission makes a range of recommendations as to how we can ensure everyone has access to a rich cultural education and the opportunity to live a creative life.
 
 Recommendations include:

The government departments for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), and Education (DfE) should produce a national plan for the publicly funded arts, culture and heritage sector that complements the Creative Industries Council’s *Create UK industrial strategy. The national plan must focus on an holistic ecosystem approach to: securing the investment needed for sustainable creative and economic success; diversifying the workforce at all levels sustained by an effective pipeline of talent and skills; and building demand for full participation in a cultural life that celebrates the UK’s diversity and artistic richness.

The Department for Education and Ofsted to ensure that all children up to the age of 16 receive a broad cultural education, creating a national vision for England’s education ambitions matching those produced for Wales and Scotland. An arts or media subject should be included in the English Baccalaureate; no school should be designated “outstanding” without evidence of an excellent cultural and creative education. There should be an Arts and Culture Pupil Premium and a national Creative Apprenticeship Brokerage Scheme. Government should ensure that access to training for Cultural and Creative Industries programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level is properly accessible to all.

A free digital public space (DiPS) should be developed to enable people to access the country’s vast culture and empower them to assume their full and fulfilling role as digital cultural consumers, regardless of skill level, ability, status or income. All publicly funded creative content would be easily discoverable and available online in this free digital ‘cultural library’. It must be without political and commercial interference and created solely for the public good.

Cultural organisations and projects in receipt of public funding, including from the Arts Council England, British Film Institute and the Heritage Lottery Fund, should be required to provide a triple bottom line account of their economic viability, artistic/creative quality and their delivery of social value in terms of reaching wider audiences and being representative of British contemporary society.  
 
The creation of local consortia of public and private investors to develop place-based strategies answering local cultural and creative needs, in order to make the local matter. A Cultural and Creative Industries Clusters Fund should be set up.
 
In November 2013, the University of Warwick launched a one-year Commission, chaired by Vikki Heywood CBE, to undertake a comprehensive and holistic investigation into the future of cultural value. A diverse group of cultural leaders, supported by academics from the University of Warwick, were invited to gather together the evidence and arguments to create a blueprint for the future of investment and engagement in our cultural lives. The Commission’s report brings together the findings of a series of public and private meetings with artists, creative and cultural professionals, economists, business leaders and other stakeholders, backed up by targeted research.
 
Introducing the report, the Commission’s Chairman, Vikki Heywood CBE said: “The key message from this report is that the government and the cultural and creative industries need to take a united and coherent approach that guarantees equal access for everyone to a rich cultural education and the opportunity to live a creative life. There are barriers and inequalities in Britain today that prevent this from being a universal human right. This is bad for business and bad for society.”


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