Nicola Mendelsohn, Industry Co-Chair, Creative Industries Council and VP EMEA, Facebook, gave the following speech to launch the 'Create Together' strategy on July 4, 2016.

Read the press release here and the full text of the speech below.


Over 35 years ago in the TV series, 'Yes Minister', Jim Hacker is advised to introduce any speech by declaring “we live in an age of change”. He’s told it has the benefit of always being true.

Since the 23rd of June we are having to face up to what it means to live in an age of change.

There are a series of social, political and economic challenges that we have to address and crucially where the Creative Industries have not just a role but an essential place to build a platform for the future success of our country

And we have a world - and especially Europe - to engage with that will mean we will become more outward facing and not less.

We need economic stability – and applaud the Bank of England and its Governor for his determined action.

And we need to turn our energy to how to make this new direction an economic success.

This change requires a new level of commitment and cooperation and a boldness in the Governments approach and backing.

The UK government must increase its role in supporting the creative industries as one of the world's most important centres for ideas, for creativity, for enterprise and for entrepreneurship.

British creativity is the engine that has shaped our past and present - and it will continue to drive a brighter future for our country, because:.

•       UK creative industries are growing 8.9% year on year

•       Creative industries accounts for £19.8 billion in export revenue; and

•       The UK creative economy supports over 2.9 million jobs in the UK.

We are proud to punch above our weight and proud to have an outsize role in creating the future. 

Our Council in close partnership with the Creative Industries Federation has considered how we could take our vision further, to set our sights higher and achieve more than we imagined three years ago.

Our strategy is a bold declaration, focused on driving economic value by supporting business growth, job growth, exports and investment at home.

Our success depends on our speed to move forward and the close collaboration of industry and government to create value and opportunity. 

•       Together, we can double the value of UK creative services exports to £31 billion by 2020 AND grow the share of inward investment by 50%.

•       Together, we can ensure more creative start-ups survive beyond their first year AND increase the number of medium and large size creative businesses.

•       And together we can be recognized as one of the leading countries in the world for digital infrastructure AND increase the diversity of our creative workforce.

This is an incredibly ambitious vision - the final key to success might be the most critical: we have to put the creative industries at the very heart of the new government's vision and negotiations.  Creative industries are essential to the blueprint.

It is imperative we champion and protect these industries to ensure future growth

•       The UK remains able to receive favorable access for our creative sectors to be able to trade in Europe and around the world - and the vital importance of the UK's services must be prioritized in our new global trading agreements

•       we also must recognize that world class talent creates world class industry

o      and we're facing a talent gap that will leave Europe and the UK with over 900,000 computer science related jobs unfilled by 2020

o      we simply must commit to developing skills through education at home - this is our future

o      the UK also has to keep its door open to talent from around the world

•       and we must tirelessly defend, nurture and support the creative industries in government now and in the future


As the Government turns their minds to what comes next, the Creative Industries must be seated at the top table. We are able to help shape an outcome that not only protects what we have, but fosters the growth and dynamism we foresee in the strategy document we are publishing today. 


Getting this right will mean we can:

1. ensure that our highly innovative creative companies, from video games to VFX, TV to advertising, are easily able to hire the very best talent from around the world to drive their growth.

2. it will ensure that our world-renowned orchestras, music artists and other creative talent are still able to tour Europe without being caught up in visa and customs red tape.

3.  it will ensure that the UK remains home to an economic infrastructure and talent pool that makes it the envy of the world when it comes to investment in film and TV production. 

4. and it will ensure that our world-renowned museums, our galleries and great cultural institutions are properly supported so that they remain the wellspring of our national creativity - as well as a major draw for people from around the world.

 In spite of the turbulence of the past 10 days, now is the time for us to work together, industry and Government, to ensure that the vision we share becomes a reality. Now more than ever we must build a future that looks outward, as it invests at home.


There is a universal sense that we are living through history. But this is not a time to look from a distance and be just a witness. Instead, we must seize control of our future.  We must craft and shape that future.

There is no doubt that the creative industries are creating vital jobs and will continue to create the jobs that drive the economy of Britain's future – but real challenges do now exist.  So, it is our responsibility to make sure that the Creative Industries are at the very heart of that future, and that we put the interests of this industry at the very heart of our new arrangements with our European partners.

If we do that we will build a brighter and more prosperous future.

Thank you.