Response to Chancellor Philip Hammond's Autumn Statement

John Kampfner, chief executive of the Creative Industries Federation, said: “We recognise that this is a sober and cautious Autumn Statement from the Chancellor in the face of great uncertainty and worrying economic figures. 

“We look forward to the forthcoming industrial strategy providing the opportunity for a bigger, more imaginative response to the potential of the creative industries to deliver the growth and employment the country manifestly needs. 

“The creative industries are the fastest-growing sector of the UK economy. But the Government risks failing to capitalise on the potential of the wider creative industries - which range from architecture and design to video games -  by appearing to focus support for innovation and R&D narrowly on science and tech. We can deliver so much more if we are made a priority sector in the Government’s thinking.”

Mr Kampfner added: “The commitment to rolling out more full-fibre broadband and other measures, from a promise of greater support for trade exports to streamlined Gift Aid, are obviously to be welcomed. 

“The creative sector is well placed to help drive growth across the entire country and so we see huge potential in the £1.8bn funding awarded to local authorities and local enterprise partnerships (LEPs). Investment in the creative industries has been key to the Northern Powerhouse development and other forward-thinking LEPs have identified this as an area for growth. We look forward to seeing how these new funds will develop further opportunities.

“The application of the new museums and galleries tax relief to permanent exhibitions as well as touring shows should help a much wider range of institutions than previously expected.”

Measures for the sector or which might benefit the sector include:
- £1bn investment by 2020-2021 targeted at supporting the market to roll out full-fibre connections and future 5G communications
- Museums and galleries tax relief to include permanent exhibitions as well as support for touring exhibitions
- A more accessible and flexible Gift Aid scheme
- £10m new investment - £7.6m for urgent repairs to Grade I listed Wentworth Woodhouse country house near Rotherham; £1m for a new creative media centre in Plymouth; £1.6m for the new Studio 144 arts complex in Southampton
- £1.8bn for local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) in England
- £400m in venture capital funds from the British Business Bank for new investment in innovative firms planning to scale up
- The new National Productivity Investment Fund of £23bn which will be targeted at transport, digital communications, R&D and housing
- Additional support through UK Export Finance for UK exports

But there are several areas which have not been discussed today such as education, skills and training, including apprenticeships, which we would hope will have a bigger place in the industrial strategy.

NewsBarney Heywood