Creative Quangos

David Adam

On taking power in 2010, the Coalition government moved quickly to implement its much-publicised ‘bonfire of the quangos’ – the abolition or merger of more than a hundred non-departmental government bodies, whose remit ranged from the direct delivery of services, through to research, investment and regulation. The creative sector was by no means exempt from this, with the shutting down of the screen agencies, the UK Film Council and the regional development agencies, many of which had been significant investors in creative industries clusters around the country. Other bodies, such as the BFI, Nesta and the Arts Council, took on new responsibilities and underwent significant organisational restructures. Continue reading

Growing the UK Film Industry – an Investor Perspective

Martin Smith

What’s wrong with the UK film industry? At first glance, it might appear not much. Great directors, great actors, great producers, great production facilities, world beating special effects, one of the world’s best film schools, and record levels of inward investment. No less a figure than Harvey Weinstein, speaking before the 2014 Oscars, declared “It’s the best period for British film I’ve seen in my career.” Continue reading

The Creative Workforce: Improving Standards, Improving Culture

Marice Cumber

Growing the size of the creative industries has been a stated ambition for government for more than fifteen years now. But why? To boost employment is the most obvious answer, but ultimately all sectors and businesses generate jobs. When it comes to the creative industries we should be asking not whether the sector generates jobs, it clearly does, but whether those jobs are any good or not, and whether they reflect an increasingly diverse population. Continue reading

The Creative Industries and the Big Society

Julian Sefton-Green

It might be hard to believe now, but the advent of a government headed by David Cameron was something which many in the voluntary sector met with, at the very least, cautious optimism. After all, the concept at the heart of the vision of modern Conservatism was the Big Society: a political philosophy that gave voluntary, community and grass roots organisations a central role in how public services were delivered, citizens interacted and the vulnerable supported. Continue reading

The Other March of the Makers

Jocelyn Bailey

George Osborne should be pleased with himself for coining the phrase ‘the march of the makers’. He has certainly rolled it off his tongue plenty of times, and it has usefully reminded us all that we shouldn’t forget about manufacturing, which has for so long been cast into the policy wilderness. But the government’s support for the ‘makers’ has been more about attracting investment in the automotive industry, rather than bolstering an army of craftspeople tinkering in sheds. For the creative industries, the term ‘makers’ signifies something quite different from what the Treasury might think. Not steel magnates, chemical suppliers or factory owners, but artisans and inventors. Continue reading