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Will Brexit Hit The Creative Industries?

3rd February 2020

The Scottish Government says,"Creative industries are those based on individual creativity, skill and talent, or which have the potential to create wealth and jobs through the development or production of intellectual property."

"In Scotland our creative industries comprise over 15,000 businesses employing more 70,000 people, in addition to a large number of freelancers as well as students studying creative courses. Together they make an important contribution to our national wealth and international reputation."

Scotland's creative industries contribute more than £5 billion to the Scottish economy every year.

Before Brexit the SG web site said "Our Economic Strategy identifies creative industries as a growth sector where Scotland can build on existing advantages to increase productivity and growth.

In particular, we aim to develop Scotland as a production centre for screen industries and are working to create the right conditions to allow these industries to flourish."

The creative industries sector is made up of 16 distinct industries:



visual art


fashion and textiles


performing arts



film and video

computer games

radio and TV

writing and publishing


software/electronic publishing

cultural education

An article on The Conversation web site poses some questions going forward -

the article uses research for Wales but other areas like Scotland may not be dissimilar.

Brexit: research from Wales shows creative industry's concern at leaving EU -

The creative industries are one of the UK's most conspicuous success stories. Creativity is not just good for the soul, it is one of our best exports. The Creative Industries Federation calculates that the creative economy accounts for one in ten jobs across the UK, employing 700,000 more people than the financial services sector.

Despite digital disruption, the creative industries are seen as a part of the economy most able to prosper in an age of automation. And the figures bear this out, with creativity a key growth area over the past ten years. Since 2011, the number of creative jobs in the UK has increased by 30.6% so that by 2018, more than 3.2 million people worked in the UK's creative economy.

The UK government recognises the importance of the creative sector across the whole of the UK, and has invested in nine creative industries clusters across all four UK nations. Nesta's Creative Nation report demonstrates that the creative industries are key to local economies across the UK: between 2011-2016, the creative industries in the average local economy increased by 11%, twice as fast as in the rest of the economy. Their value, of course, is not just economic: they shape our cultural environment and tell the stories that help us understand the world.

Creativity post-Brexit?

With the UK leaving the EU on January 31, what impact will Brexit have on the creative industries? To find out, we surveyed 244 creative businesses in Wales. The Welsh Government has identified the creative industries sector as a key priority sector, both because of their increasing importance to the Welsh economy and their role in promoting Welsh stories, talent and identity.

There is a lot to be optimistic about in the Welsh creative sector, now the home to big drama productions from Doctor Who and Sherlock to Discovery of Witches and His Dark Materials, as well as a raft of other popular TV titles from Hinterland and Keeping Faith to Casualty and Only Connect.

our out of five creative businesses, we found, are concerned about the impact of Brexit on their businesses. Of these, a quarter expressed very strong concerns, indicating that Brexit could potentially be a "disaster" for their business. Only 4% saw Brexit having any positive impact on their bottom line. And most of this group still have concerns, with less than 1% seeing Brexit as a generally positive development.

Concerns about Brexit are consistent across Wales, and were expressed regardless of company size. Among the different creative sectors, the highest level of concern was expressed in Wales's two largest creative sectors: the thriving film/television sector (where 87% expressed concern) and the music and performing arts sector (where 83% expressed concern).

Why the concern?

Creative businesses have concerns that range from broad economic and structural changes to practical day to day problems that Brexit may create. These come under four broad headings.

Business and economy: Businesses are worried that Brexit would lead to slower UK economic growth and lower consumer and client spending. Many businesses are also concerned at the prospect of price changes, higher costs and an increase in bureaucracy around trade, especially if the UK falls out of regulatory alignment with the EU. There is also apprehension about clients with strong European connections leaving the UK.

The full article on the Conversation can be found at -

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