Open letter to BookBrunch readers from John Kampfner, chief executive of the Creative Industries Federation

Opinion - Publishing Friday, 15 December 2017

Leader of new umbrella body for all UK creative business asks publishing to get more involved, and to make new connections

Dear BookBrunch readers

After my talk last month to a group of publishers about the Creative Industries Federation, I thought I would give a summary to you all.

Who are we?
We are the national body for the UK’s arts, cultural education and creative industries. We provide advocacy and an authoritative voice that unites the sector and represents the significant economic, cultural and social value of this key component of Brand UK.

Launched in 2015, we are entirely independent. Our revenues - and our strength - come from our members. That’s more than 1,000 companies, organisations, institutions and individual practitioners, working in every part of the creative industries - commercial and publicly-supported - as well as in the education system that underpins them all.

What do we do?
We do research and publish reports on areas that matter most to our sector, drawing on the experience of our members on a wide range of policy issues. These are aimed at creating the right conditions for continued success.

We have built relationships with politicians of all parties and across every level of government.
We are close to eight Whitehall departments including No 10 and the Treasury, plus of course the devolved nations, metro mayors, city leaders, LEPs and local authorities.

We hold major conferences (such as our forthcoming International Conference and our Brexit Conference) as well as workshops and roundtables (such as our recent IP event in partnership with Mischon de Reya). These events both inform our work on policy and also offer members the opportunity for networking and the chance to strike new creative and commercial deals.

We are committed to demonstrating the impact of our work, and are currently planning a UK-wide creative skills campaign in 2018. We want to transform the public’s perception of creative careers and inspire people throughout the UK to pursue work in the creative industries. We are also developing models of financial brokerage which will connect small businesses with financial investors.

Why is it important?
The UK’s creative industries are key to growth in a post-Brexit Britain. The sector is the fastest growing part of the UK’s economy, contributing £91.8bn in GVA. The creative industries outpace the 12 largest industries of the UK economy. They are bigger than many sectors which have been traditionally viewed as important to the economy or which are expected to be important in future, returning more than the automotive, life sciences, aerospace, oil and gas industries combined.

The UK is the third-largest exporter of cultural goods and services in the world - just behind China and the US. However, as other countries are now prioritising the sector, we cannot take our global pre-eminence for granted.

With much of this growth and job creation emerging beyond London and the South East, the creative industries are also critical to delivering social and economic regeneration in places that need it the most. Few other sectors can deliver so much and at this scale.

Why become a member?
There are lots of benefits of joining the Fed.
- Inside Track: our research and knowledge across the sector, which we share with our members, enables you to understand industry trends that are affecting your business

- Advocacy: being a member allows you to join the debate at the highest level of government about the future of one of the fastest growing industries in the UK today.

- Creative collisions: being part of a dynamic network of creative professionals and practitioners across a dozen sub-sectors allows you to meet, connect and cross-fertilise ideas and business opportunities.

- Workshops: our sector specific workshops offer our members the chance to learn the tools of success from industry leaders and experts in the fields that shape their companies' future.

We'd love you to come on board and be part of the next stage of one of the UK's most high profile success stories. For further information or a discussion on how this could work for your organisation, please contact Amelia Richards.

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