Shadow Culture Secretary Lucy Powell sets out Labour's vision for the creative industries, pledging to devolve powers to local areas to drive growth and support a 'cultural corridor' across the North.
Creative Coalition Festival
A Labour government will seek to grow the creative sector outside of London and the South East and support a "cultural corridor" across the North of England, plans put forward by the party reveal.
Speaking at the Creative Coalition Festival today, Labour’s Shadow Culture Secretary Lucy Powell said the creative industries are central to delivering Labour’s mission to secure growth in every part of the country.
As part of its Creative Compact blueprint for the sector, unveiled today, the party wants to build on Gordon Brown’s Commission for Britain proposals to devolve powers to local areas to drive growth in creative clusters.
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It wants to encourage more collaboration and "end the competitive processes which pits northern place against northern place" for things like the headquarters of Channel 4 or BBC Media City and "develop a cultural corridor across the North".
The party will seek to work with metro mayors and others to break down barriers so that the creative industries can grow outside their traditional home in London and the South East.
And it will develop proposals for creative clusters so they do not end when UK Research and Innovation closes the Creative Industries Clusters Programme this month.
“Britain’s creative industries are a leading light of the UK economy, yet under the Conservatives there’s a real danger that we’ll be relegated to understudy as international competitors take the stage," Powell said.
"Ministers must retain our leading edge, not blunt it.
“Labour’s Creative Compact sets out our ambitions to meet Keir Starmer’s number one mission to have the highest sustained growth in the G7 benefiting everyone not just a few.
"We’ll work with industry to unlock their potential with a focus on driving growth in the regions and nations, so every part of the country can benefit from our creative and cultural success."
The party also wants to break down barriers to opportunity within the sector and "unlock the talent pipeline" through offering flexible skills and training opportunities.
It intends to introduce a Growth and Skills Levy to ensure more money is spent on training opportunities.
Action on diversity
But it is calling for action from the creative industries themselves to improve diversity within the workforce, pointing to last month's Bafta awards which was criticised for a lack of diversity as an example of the necessity for change.
“Labour’s reformed Growth and Skills Levy will give businesses the flexibility they need to train the workforce and deliver growth," Powell said.
"But the creative industries have to act to ensure they are keeping up with the times and represent diverse, modern Britain in all its glory.
"Front of house as well as behind the scenes, we can’t have scenes like we did at the Baftas recently.
"Labour’s growth mission is for everyone, everywhere, not just the few. The days of insecure work, and new talent having to rely on the bank of mum and dad to get ahead has to end."