Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has pledged to fight for the interests of the UK creative sector during Brexit negotiations. Khan was speaking at the Creative Industries Federation (CIF) second anniversary party in London on 9 January.
The event included a performance from Company Wayne McGregor, as well as speeches from Greg Clark, UK secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy; Karen Bradley, UK secretary of state for culture, media and sport; and Fiona Hyslop, cabinet secretary for culture, tourism and external affairs in the Scottish Government.
‘I’ll work to ensure your concerns are addressed by our government and your interests defended,’ said Khan. ‘I promise I’ll do anything I can to ensure London’s creative industries continue to flourish so that today’s talented youngsters can follow their dreams, fulfil their potential and one day stand on the shoulders of our cultural and creative giants.’
Bradley, meanwhile, said that CIF had already helped her understand the ‘intricacies’ and ‘unique nature’ of the creative sector. ‘I think it’s worth me making the point about how much our industries contribute to the UK economy,’ she continued. ‘GBP87.4bn (€100bn) gross value added (GVA), 1.9 million jobs, GBP19.8bn pounds export of services and a quarter of a million businesses. These are industries that touch everybody’s life, every day.’
Clark too praised the impact of the creative sector on UK cities, stating that: ‘It is impossible to separate London’s economic success from its cultural success, from theatre to architecture, from music to fashion, from design to dance. People choose to live and work and to flock to London because it’s a hotbed of innovation and excitement. It’s true of other cities, too…Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Bristol all owe much of their economic revival to their continuing cultural assets.’
Fiona Hyslop took the opportunity to announce the formation of a Scottish creative industries advisory board, which will report directly to Scottish ministers. She also pointed out that, ‘Our creative industries in Scotland employ more people than oil and gas and provide more GVA than life sciences.’