Mayor hails the importance of the creative industries for Londons economy

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today hailed the importance of the capital’s creative economy, as new figures show that it is playing an increasingly significant role in supporting the economy, with jobs growing by more than 200,000 in five years.

New research has revealed that one in five jobs in London is in the creative economy – increasing from one in six in 2016 when Sadiq became Mayor – and that the capital is contributing more than half of the UK’s entire creative industries economic output.

The capital’s world-leading creative industries have recovered strongly following the impact of the pandemic, but with challenges still facing the industries, the Mayor has warned Government that it must continue to back the sector with sufficient funding.

These findings follow a report from City Hall earlier this year that highlighted how the UK creative industries have outperformed the UK economy as a whole.

It showed that the capital’s creative industries contributed £13bn in taxes in 2019/20 and supported businesses across the country through their supply chains, but that Government funding is ‘insufficient’ and that the most recent Arts Council England grants cuts were significant and damaging to organisations in the capital.

The Mayor is committed to doing all he can to support the capital’s creative industries as they deal with the ongoing impact of the pandemic, Brexit, the cost of living crisis and a reduction in Government funding. Last month, Sadiq joined with cultural leaders to launch London Creates – a campaign to celebrate London as the world’s most creative capital.

The Mayor is also investing more than £600m to create East Bank, a new culture and education powerhouse at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and establishing 12 Creative Enterprise Zones that will deliver 71,000 sqm of affordable creative workspace - the equivalent of 10 football pitches – support 800 creative businesses, deliver 500 jobs and help 5,000 young Londoners to enter the creative industries by 2026.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “Culture is the beating heart of our city and our creative industries not only help make London the greatest city in the world but help to drive our economy forward following the impact of the pandemic.

“They are a huge success story contributing tens of billions of pounds to our nation and supporting businesses across the country through their supply chains. But our creative industries still have significant challenges, including spiralling operational costs, Brexit bureaucracy and reductions in funding.”

Ben Evans, director, London Design festival, and Executive Director, London Design Biennale, said: “With 1.1 million jobs in the wider creative economy, London can claim to be one of the biggest creative cities in the world. But in an increasingly competitive environment it needs to invest to maintain this position of leadership.

“This means investment in promotion, market access, integration of technologies, and recruitment of talent. In design, post covid recovery has been slowed by skills shortages made more acute by Brexit. This can be addressed by introducing a creative visa, enabling the best international talent to live and work here, alongside a rapid expansion of UK training and apprenticeship schemes.

“Creative talent will fuel London future prosperity.”

By Mark Adair – Correspondent, Bdaily

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