Five Reasons to choose UK creative industries


1. The UK is Export minded

The UK has a long and successful history of global trading. Its creative industries are a huge trade success story, delivering over £21.2bn of creative services exports in 2015 or approximately 9.4 per cent of all UK exports (Source: Government Statistics, DCMS, July 2017). This is a higher proportion than the creative industries' share of UK GDP which is approximately 5-6 per cent. A growth strategy developed by UK industry, in partnership with Government, aims to increase creative services exports to £31bn by 2020.

Below, Tim Davie, CEO of BBC Worldwide, the commercial wing of the BBC, explains why the UK creative industries are well placed for future growth at home and overseas.



2. the UK is A source and HUB for global Trends

The UK has a unique combination of strengths in media, culture and education which enable it to create and transmit trends and influence.  The UK was ranked number two on the 2016 Soft Power rankings, and third by the 2015 Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index which records the value of the positive perceptions consumers worldwide have of individual countries. 

The UK is seen by trend forecasters as a key market; if trends do not take root in the UK, they are unlikely to be considered truly global. 

London has been named the most influential city in the world on for its combination of "efficiency and access to capital and information" as well as its concentration of media, culture and business power. In addition, London was ranked number one in the Creative City Index compiled by the Australia-based ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries & Innovation.


3. It is An attractive Investment market

UK creativity is defined by its openness to outside ways of thinking and collaborations. There are an estimated 1.2bn people on the planet either speaking or learning to speak English, and the UK has both a long history of international trading and a vibrant, stable multi-cultural population. These factors make the country well-equipped to work with foreign traditions and partners, and underpin the UK's accessibility to overseas clients and investors.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimates the UK accounts for almost a quarter of all inward investment across the European Union, far higher than any other country.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the UK is strong, according to official dataAcross the country, 2,265 inward investment projects were secured in 2016-7. This lead to around 107,898 jobs being created or safeguarded. In the creative and media category, there were an estimated 151 FDI projects, creating 3,654 jobs.

The World Bank ranks the UK sixth globally for ease of doing business

There are also specific financial incentives to invest in the UK's creative sector. For example, there are tax reliefs which allow productions to access a rebate of up to 25 per cent of qualifying expenditure in the film, high-end television and animation sectors. This approach has greatly benefited the British film industry, with inward investment directly contributing £10 billion to the UK economy over the last 10 years and encouraging some of the global television industry's most exciting programmes, such as Game of Thrones, to film in the UK.


4. It has an Educated and skilled workforce

According to the World University rankings produced by Times Higher Education, the UK has three of the world's top 10 universities, with London considered by PwC the global capital of higher education.

The UK's creative and performance education system is much imitated.The UK has a network of admired art schools; architecture is taught at more than 40 UK centres and the country was an early leader in developing dedicated digital design and games development courses. The UK is ranked second globally for industry-university collaboration.The creative industries have also worked with Creative Skillset, the industry body, to assess and accredit the courses best suited to preparing young talent for a career in the creative industries, with the best awarded the Creative Skillset Tick

The UK has been ranked as the world's third best country for its ability to attract, retain, train and educate skilled workers, according to the Global Talent Competitiveness Index, published by INSEAD in 2017.


5. Innovation nation

The UK is an innovation-driven economy. Between 2000 and 2009, more than 60 per cent of productivity growth came from innovation. From fashion to film, architecture to advertising, UK creatives have a well-earned reputation for challenging conventions and embracing the new with professionalism and flair. 

London is the acknowledged tech start-up capital of europe. Other start-up clusters in Cambridge, north west England, and Scotland. The UK's technology sector was the top European destination for investment in 2016, according to London & PartnersYou can find a visualisation of the UK's creative economy, provided by Nesta, here.

The 2012 Olympics provided a memorable global showcase of breakthrough designs, collaborations and materials applied in everything from the Olympic torch and cauldron to the environmentally sustainable sporting venues.  The emerging Createch phenomenon includes UK businesses pioneering on new platforms such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence and augmented reality.


Related: 'Why the UK?' (Chinese) and more Chinese language content here.