Did you know that as recently as 2014, according to the Department of Culture, Media & Sport, the creative industries in the UK accounted for 5.2% of the UK economy? Which, in real monetary terms gives a GVA (Gross Value Added) of over £84 billion due to our collective efforts and expertise in areas such as film, advertising, architecture, marketing, art & design, IT & software, publishing, crafts and music.
Furthermore, it transpires that our creative economy in the UK has been continuously expanding since 2008 and was last worth £133 billion in 2014, and supporting 1.8 million jobs – which I hope that you will agree with me, is a pretty amazing effort for such a small island nation, such as ours. But why in truth, should this be?
You may not entirely be surprised to learn that there are many theories on this subject that can be found on the internet – ranging from our longstanding heritage of free speech, to our strong cultural birth right and/or naturally independent instincts as an Island race. However, I could find no credible explanation (other than our native use of the English language) of why we are so dominant in the area of popular & contemporary music, as just one simple example of what I am talking about. As even today, bands like Coldplay, groups like One Direction, and solo artists such as Adele enjoy worldwide renown and recognition for the music that they both write and perform, which (along with artists from the US) allow us to dominate worldwide music sales. A trend that has repeated itself ever since the success of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in the 1960’s, and shows little sign of changing any time soon.
Also, it is not just music and the arts in which we in the UK excel, as business too has benefited from our advertisers, inventors and designers often (but not exclusively) working for multi- national companies and augmenting multi-national campaigns or products. Did you know for example that the chief designer behind the Apple Corporation’s iPhone is a 49 year- old englishman from Chingford called Jony Ive? Or that one of the early internet pioneers was an English Physicist and Computer Scientist called Tim Berners- Lee, who was widely credited with inventing HTML and the World Wide Web.
I could go on of course, but the point is simply this – creative thought and deed is an area that seems naturally instinctive to the people of the UK, and is not only pertinent on these shores, but all around the world. Moreover, we may not be able to fully explain it, but at the very least we should both recognise it and be not afraid to celebrate it.
The Author of this article is Peter Nicholls CEO of ideology consulting. For further information, go to www.ideologyconsulting.co.uk .