From film to fashion, the creative industries are growing three times as fast as the UK economy as a whole. Currently worth over £100 billion, it’s estimated that they’ll create up to a million new jobs by 2030
Fancy playing a part in this vibrant and influential sector? Keep reading, as we explore four creative industries that make us proud to be British.
In 2017, 6% of all UK jobs were in the creative economy.
Creative businesses account for 11.8% of all UK businesses.
Film and Television
The film and television sector contributes over £4.6 billion to UK GDP and supports over 117,000 jobs.
According to the British Film Institute the UK is currently enjoying the highest level of cinema admissions since the 1970s. In 2018, cinema box offices sold tickets worth 1.387 billion pounds to 177 million people, a figure which includes visitors from abroad. Iconic British films, including Paddington, have even been featured in UK tourism campaigns!
With their reputation for originality, creativity and stunning locations, British films and television productions are eagerly devoured by audiences around the globe. Best selling television exports include Downton Abbey and Doctor Who, which have both been sold to over 200 countries. If you include remakes, television exports contribute £1.34 billion to the UK’s creative economy.
But the film and television industry isn’t all about exports, as Britain also attracts plenty of inward investment. Even the biggest Hollywood producers are coming to the UK, thanks to its state of the art studio facilities, talented production teams and generous tax relief scheme. Big television producers including Netflix and Amazon are also investing in original British drama for their streaming services.
Britain’s best-selling films of all time
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
worldwide gross: $2,068,223,624
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
worldwide gross: $2,046,452,723
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2011)
worldwide gross: $1,341,511,219
Beauty and the Beast (2017)
worldwide gross: $1,263,521,126
worldwide gross: $1,108,561,013
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
worldwide gross: $1,084,939,099
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
worldwide gross: $1,056,057,273
The Dark Knight (2008)
worldwide gross: $1,004,558,444
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
worldwide gross: $974,755,371
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010)
worldwide gross: $960,283,305
The British gaming industry has come a long way since the days of Donkey Kong, as it now contributes nearly £3 billion to the economy and employs over 47,000 people. With games available on computers, consoles and even mobile phones, it’s easier than ever for Britain’s millions of gamers to enjoy their favourite pastime.
The UK is now the 5th largest video game market in the world and British players tend to game for an average of ten hours a week. Inspired by watching professionals compete online, some young gamers even dream of a career in professional gaming.
Britain’s top-selling gaming consoles include the Sony PlayStation 4, the Nintendo Switch and the X-Box One. However, tech giants including Google and Netflix are also launching their own game streaming services and downloads, as they’ve realised that many people enjoy gaming as much as watching television. With breakthroughs in virtual reality and augmented reality expected soon, the British video gaming industry looks set to continue growing in the UK and abroad.
What about the businesses that develop British computer games? Well, there are 2,261 games companies in the UK and over three quarters of them intend to advertise new jobs in 2019.
Successful British gaming companies
Based in: Edinburgh Developed: Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Reception 2
Based in: Leamington Spa Developed: Forza Horizon 1, 2, 3 and 4
Based in: Dundee Developed: console versions of Minecraft
Based in: Leamington Spa Developed: mobile versions of Sonic games
Based in: Guildford Developed: The trail, Godus, What’s Inside the cube?
Based in: Brighton Developed: CSR Racing and CSR Classics
The Music Industry
In 2018, the music industry contributed £4.5 billion to the UK economy. Thanks to the individual creativity of artists like Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Stormzy, Sam Smith and Coldplay, 8 out of ten top ten selling albums were by UK acts and 142.9 million albums worth £1.33 billion were either streamed, bought or downloaded.
Music sales are now as high as they were in the nineties, and the way we consume music has played a big part in this. While CD sales have fallen, the number of music fans who stream their music via digital technology services such as Spotify and Apple Music has rocketed. Vinyl has also made a resurgence and a number of top artists have even released albums on cassette tape. In fact, so many people pre-ordered the limited edition cassette accompanying Kylie’s latest album, that the tapes sold out before the official release date.
The music industry’s export revenues are growing too according to the British Phonographic Industry, which claims that British music exports have brought in over £5 billion since the millennium. In 2017, UK artists accounted for 13% of global music consumption and one in every 8 albums sold was British.
Of course, music fans have always loved seeing their favourite bands in person, so live music also makes a significant contribution to the UK’s economy. 27 million people attended gigs and concerts last year, while 3.9 million went to festivals, generating a total income of £1 billion.
Finally, you might be surprised to hear that classical music was the fastest growing genre in 2018. Stars such as Katherine Jenkins and Andrea Bocelli boosted sales by 10.2% compared with 2017. Streaming seems to be bringing in new audiences, as it now accounts for a quarter of classical music consumption.
Music by the classical Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi accounted for one in every 12 classical streams last year.
In 2018 the fashion industry contributed £32 billion to the UK economy, according to the British Fashion Council’s CEO Caroline Rush, who claims that the industry is going “from strength to strength.” However, if you want to work in this particular creative sector, you may have to relocate to London.
London is a world leader when it comes to fashion, as around half of the specialist fashion design jobs in the UK are based there. Many fashion designers have also chosen to locate their outlets in wealthy London boroughs such as Knightsbridge, South Kensington and Chelsea.
The capital city also plays host to one of the world’s most famous fashion events: London Fashion Week. Over 5,000 people attend this event, including buyers, TV crews, journalists, and photographers. For buyers who are keen to discover emerging creative talent, there’s also The Clothes Show London, which showcases pieces by up and coming designers.