Keir Starmer shares his vision for the UK creative industries

Speaking at the Creative Coalition Festival, Starmer offered support to the BBC and a new approach to education, plus expressed a desire to “make Brexit work” to allow better opportunities for creatives and musicians

The Labour leader opened his speech at the festival – which is taking place online from February 1-3 – by laying out a broad definition of the meaning of creativity in Britain today and the contribution that the creative industries make. “My focus today is not just on what are known in policy circles as ‘the creative industries’,” he explained. “I want to widen the conversation to talk about our creative nation.

“Because I believe that all good industry is creative. To be creative is the economic necessity of our times. Creativity brings beauty and meaning into our lives. But it is also the source of innovation and invention. It is the expression of talent and imagination.”

In economic terms, Starmer pointed out that “the creative industries are a Great British success story”. “In 2019, for instance, they contributed, if you can believe it, over £100bn in gross value added to the UK economy. That’s greater than the aerospace, automotive, life sciences and oil and gas sectors combined. And that’s not all, these industries supported a further £62.1bn across the supply chain. There are two million jobs in the creative sector and a further 1.4 million more rely on it.”

I believe that all good industry is creative. To be creative is the economic necessity of our times. Creativity brings beauty and meaning into our lives

Starmer then went on to heavily weave in Labour’s three pillars of “security, prosperity and respect” that the party is currently pushing across all its policymaking. There was a risk at this point that his speech could fall into a trap of political sloganeering (without even a snappy catchphrase at its heart – ‘security, prosperity and respect’ is far from as memorable as, for example, ‘take back control’ or even ‘things can only get better’) though he did keep the themes relevant to the sector.

DESIGN PRODUCER

LONDON/HYBRID

DESIGNER

LONDON