Creative UK Unveils Manifesto Ahead of UK General Election

Photo: © Artlyst

Creative UK has launched a comprehensive manifesto outlining critical priorities for the Cultural and Creative Industries in the lead-up to the UK General Election. The manifesto, “Our Creative Future,” advocates for bold action across various sectors to harness Creativity’s full potential for social and economic prosperity.

The document, which features insights from leading organisations such as the Royal College of Art, the Royal Shakespeare Company, BPI, BECTU, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and The Advertising Association, emphasises the importance of innovative education, robust Intellectual Property protections, and enhanced collaboration with the EU for the UK’s creatives.

Among the manifesto’s key recommendations is a call for greater access to creative education and skills training, recognising the pivotal role of talent development in sustaining the industry’s growth. Additionally, it highlights the need to maintain the UK’s ‘gold standard’ intellectual property protections, particularly in light of advancements in artificial intelligence.

Creative UK also proposes the establishment of a new government Freelance Commissioner to advocate for the rights and interests of freelancers within the industry. With freelance workers constituting a significant portion of the Cultural and Creative Industries workforce, the manifesto emphasises the importance of ensuring their well-being and financial security.

Creative UK
Photo Courtesy Creative UK 2024

Furthermore, the manifesto advocates for a new Cultural Touring Agreement with the EU to facilitate enhanced freedom of movement for UK creatives, enabling seamless travel within the European Union for short-term projects and collaborations.

Caroline Norbury OBE, Chief Executive of Creative UK, highlighted the pivotal moment facing the Cultural and Creative Industries. She emphasised the sector’s role in driving economic growth and job creation while acknowledging the challenges posed by funding cuts and evolving market dynamics.

The manifesto launch event, held at Heatherwick Studio in partnership with the new collective Land of Hope and Story, brought together industry leaders, policymakers, and creatives to discuss the sector’s future. Speakers including Thomas Heatherwick, Founder and Design Director of Heatherwick Studio, and Adrian Lester CBE, Actor, Director, and Writer, underscored the importance of investing in Creativity to foster innovation and social cohesion.

Proposals encompass a broad spectrum and a blueprint delineating avenues for future UK governmental support towards fostering sustainable freelance careers. With freelancers constituting 28% of the Cultural and Creative Industries workforce, Creative UK advocates the establishment of a Freelance Commissioner tasked with representing the interests of this demographic within government circles. A primary focus of this role would be to advocate for accessible pension schemes and reform the timely payment of invoices.

Additionally, the manifesto advocates for negotiating a Cultural Touring Agreement with the EU, facilitating reciprocal freedom of movement for creatives requiring short-term travel within European Union member states. This measure, it is argued, would not only address logistical challenges faced by the industry but also hold the potential to contribute towards mitigating broader issues such as sluggish economic growth and tepid employment figures within the UK.

As the UK prepares for the upcoming General Election, Creative UK’s manifesto provides a comprehensive roadmap for policymakers to support and nurture the country’s vibrant Cultural and Creative Industries. With the sector contributing nearly £125 billion to the economy and driving job creation at three times the national average rate, the manifesto outlines critical priorities for ensuring its continued growth and success.

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