Region/Countries: Europe, United Kingdom Industry: Other Date: April 2023

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: The focus on arts and entertainment is good motivation for Wisconsin companies in those fields to form collaborations with their UK counterparts.

The UK is a global leader in the sector known as the creative industries, and an expanded government effort to support that sector could be a good catalyst for Wisconsin companies to forge relationships with their UK colleagues.

The creative industries range from performing arts to computer games and from graphic design to advertising. Together, they contributed £109 billion ($137 billion USD) to the UK’s economy in 2021, or 5.6% of the economy that year. In fact, the number of jobs in the creative industries sector has grown more robustly than the national average—especially in information technology, software, and computer services—as the UK has recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic. The creative industry now has 2.3 million jobs throughout the UK.

The arts and entertainment industry took a big hit from the pandemic. During the first lockdown, the industry’s monthly output fell nearly 45%, according to the Office for National Statistics, and the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee said the pandemic represented “the biggest threat to the UK’s cultural infrastructure, institutions, and workforce in a generation.” So, the government announced a series of funding measures to help arts and entertainment organizations, and created a £1.6 billion ($2 billion USD) Culture Recovery Fund. Additional government support programs are expected to be announced later this year.

The creative industries sector is made up of 13 fields—advertising, architecture, art and antiques, crafts, design, designer fashion, film, interactive leisure software, music, performing arts, publishing, software and computer services, and TV and radio.

New hybrids of these fields are emerging as workers in different areas collaborate on advanced projects.

A report commissioned from the UK’s Design Council identifies four emerging hybrid models:

  • Creative and tech (or createch), defined as companies doing research and development that delivers technological innovation in artistic, creative, and cultural domains
  • Creative and health, where creative assets and advanced technology work together on projects that may include medical training or therapeutics
  • Creative manufacturing, in which creative occupations and assets are used along with advanced technology to add value to manufacturing processes and business models
  • Creative and net zero, when design, architecture, and immersive technology work together to try to achieve net zero harmful emissions

Wisconsin companies are encouraged to establish relationships with UK companies across the creative industries to bring their knowledge, technologies, and talents to wider audiences in the UK and beyond.