Why UK creativity is world Class

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By Sir John Sorrell

The UK is internationally renowned as a vibrant and dynamic creative nation that is great to work with. From advertising to architecture, fashion to film, and performing arts to publishing, the uniqueness, dynamism and professionalism of British creativity inspire the world.

There are many secrets to the UK’s creative industry success. Because the UK is a small island, it has always sought to be a great trading nation and one that is keen to explore new things and discover new ideas. The secret is then to take these ideas and turn them into something commercially viable and successful – something at which the UK excels.

A key factor behind this is the very long-established British creative education system, which is the best in the world. This is rooted in the country’s system of art schools, which are the breeding ground for a long and prestigious list of artists, actors, musicians, computer games and fashion designers, writers and theatre producers – many of whom go on to enjoy international success.

Many students from overseas come to study creative disciplines at UK universities and colleges and then decide to stay on once they have graduated. If you look at the Architectural Association’s list of graduates for the last 30 years, for example, it’s a roll call of some of best and most successful architects in the world.The UK’s creative industries pride themselves on their unusually diverse nature. Few countries rival the UK’s extraordinary range, mix and quality of creative expertise and experience. This is particularly true of London - widely acknowledged as the creative and design capital of the world.

The cross-disciplinary nature of the UK’s creative industries is a major advantage, as it means that you can get people from one creative specialism regularly rubbing shoulders with people from another – which can prove invaluable in the sharing and cross-fertilisation of ideas and create a real energy and buzz.

Another important strength is the international nature of creativity in the UK, due to its cohesive multicultural society and business environment. The country is packed full of creative people from overseas who have set up businesses in the UK because they regard it as the place to be in terms of creativity, innovation and drive. This inevitably makes the UK a more attractive nation to work with in the eyes of overseas buyers and investors.

Perhaps more than any other sector, the UK’s creative industries have the potential to grow considerably over the next five to 10 years. Every country across the globe is looking for great creative partners. People want to work with the most creative people, companies want to work with the most creative companies, and cities want to work with cities that have the most creative people in them. That’s why the UK is an ideal creative partner for any other nation worldwide.

Sir John Sorrell is Chairman of the London Design Festival.