PEC's Representation to the Autumn Spending Review

28 September 2021

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Eliza Easton, 

Eliza Easton

Founder, Erskine Analysis. Previously Deputy Director at the Creative PEC

Professor Hasan Bakhshi MBE

Professor Hasan Bakhshi MBE


Hasan is Professor of Economics of the Creative In...

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The UK’s creative industries - from film to fashion, and from video games to the performing arts - are integral to local communities throughout the country. 

This is in part because of the economic importance of the sector: one in eight UK businesses are part of the creative industries, and together they contributed almost £116 billion in GVA in 2019, growing twice as fast as the rest of the UK economy as a whole in the past decade (DCMS, 2021). 

This Comprehensive Spending Review gives the government an opportunity to stimulate growth in a world-leading sector, many parts of which have been severely affected as a result of the pandemic. 

In this representation we highlight three different policy areas where recent PEC evidence suggests policy change is needed:

  1. Innovation-led recovery: R&D & Artificial intelligence:
    • How R&D tax relief and support could be more inclusive to creative sectors
    • Support for an AI and Creative Industries Centre to develop broader AI ambitions
  2. UK-wide investment:
    • Support for the AHRC-led Clusters+ programme and their sector-wide infrastructure investment
    • Recognise the needs of the creative sector in the Levelling Up Fund and other business support funds 
    • Consider how the ‘Preston Model’ could support local growth
  3. Creative workforce: Supporting Self-Employed creatives, Social Mobility, & Immigration:
    • Consider calls for a Freelance Commissioner
    • Recognise the structures, opportunities and limitations of freelance work in UK skills policy
    • Level up early life experiences – ensure fair and equal access to culture and cultural education
    • Unlock the potential of creative education as the great leveller

Full links to the research referenced in this representation can be found at the end of this paper. 

As with all Spending Review representations the AHRC-funded PEC makes to the government, this briefing should not be read as a “manifesto for the creative industries” covering all areas where support is needed, but rather, specific areas where our evidence strongly points to action that would help grow the sector. 

Thumbnail photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels