Response to the Industrial Strategy – Creative Industries Sector Deal

Industrial Strategy – Creative Industries Sector Deal

Set out below is my response to the recently published (March 2018) Creative Industries Sector Deal that forms part of the Government’s industrial strategy. The document can be downloaded at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/695097/creative-industries-sector-deal-print.pdf

1 Analysis of the Creative Industries Deal

The first step in any strategy formulation is to ask and answer two questions:

Where are we now?

Where do we want to be?

It appears that the first question is for the main part addressed by the recommendations in Sir Peter Bazelgette’s “Independent Review of the Creative industries” in 2017. The second question is answered by the stated goals for each section of the Creative Industries Deal, places, ideas, business environment and people:

Places – developing more world-class creative industries clusters to narrow the gap between London, the South East and other regions.

Ideas – sustain growth: achieve forecast Gross Value Added (GVA) of £150bn by 2023.

Business Environment – sustain growth: forecast GVA of £150bn by 2023. Boost job creation: higher than average growth rate implies 600,000 new creative jobs by 2023.

People – strengthen the talent pipeline to address current and future skills needs, as well as ensure that it is more representative of UK society.

The flaw is there is no mention of the performing arts generally in terms of orchestras, opera, theatre West End shows and in particular a musician as creator, sole trader and promoter. In 2012/13 there were 4,094 jazz musicians active in the UK. In 2010 there were 869 active jazz promoters and 3,473 active venues who promoted jazz. The creative industries in the UK is an ecology and it seems that crucial parts of the ecology have been left out in the Creative Industries Deal. It would appear that in the creation of the Creative Industries deal they omitted to ask of the performing arts “where are we now”? and “where do we want to be?”

The only reference to musicians was the mention of the Momentum Fund operated by the Performing Right Society Foundation. The fund has funded 215 artistes since 2013 but there were 3,316 applications which give a success rate of 6.5%. The fund will support recording, touring (UK only), marketing and marketing promotions but not touring abroad. There appears to be no analysis of arts and culture that I can discern.

For jazz there is a clear need for:

Promoting excellent music (whether tours, gigs, festivals)

Developing current and future audiences

Leading and supporting education

Building strategic partnerships and networks

From the report of the needs of the community published by Jazz Services in 2016 the following was identified that also chimed with the Arts Councils goals in their strategic plan, Great Art and Culture for Everyone

“1.1       Broadly speaking the needs expressed by respondents fall into two main areas.  The first area highlights the problems of performing Jazz in the current economic and cultural climate and the second concerns the future of Jazz in the UK ten and more years hence.  In terms of the Arts Council England’s key objectives the needs of Jazz in the UK are as follows:

1.2        Funding.  While large events such as major jazz festivals have the resources and expertise to secure funding, smaller events and organisations struggle.  There is a need to help small organisations with the process of securing the funding they need.  Additionally Jazz must receive its fair share of the funding that is available.  Jazz Services has been widely praised for its activities.  Goal 1

1.3        Audience.  Many respondents complain about the problems of attracting and retaining new audiences.  This is all about marketing Jazz, appropriate venues and programme content and the use of new and existing media to reach the audience. Goal 2

1.4        Sponsorship. In reality, with many Jazz related organisations already run on a shoestring there is very little scope for cutting costs so there should be vigorous efforts to attract sponsorship from all available sources. Goal 3

1.5        Management and equal opportunity.  Some initiatives, both urban and rural, highlighted in this report, have been very successful in promoting Jazz and increasing the number of gigs available for young musicians to perform in, audiences have also increased.  Nationally however there are minorities who do not have sufficient opportunities.  Typically females and black ethnic groups are under-represented in all roles but another group feeling excluded is the Traditional Jazz performer. Goal 4

1.6        Education and Participation.  To many, educating young people is of supreme importance for the long term health of Jazz in the UK  Once again there are pockets of optimism where young people have been inspired to play Jazz, some university departments and local education authority arts organisations are thriving, but so much more needs to be done.  Provision of music and instruments in schools is a top priority, not just for Jazz, but for all music genres.  However while children and young people are enthusiastic about playing music of all types there are problems for young people when it comes to participation in Jazz as part of an audience. Goal 5.

The full Jazz Needs Report  is available at:http://www.chrishodgkins.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Final-Report-Jazz-Needs-16th-September-2016.pdf

Chris Hodgkins

2nd April 2018