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Creative Industries Council Access to Finance report

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Published: 17th January 2013.

A series of five practical steps are outlined in a new Creative Industries Council Access to Finance report

The report comes on the same day as Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills, Vince Cable outlined a series of new initiatives to help grow the creative economy. In the plans, the government will lend directly to small business – bypassing the traditional banks – in a £110m scheme that will use so-called ‘peer to peer’ lenders.

Speaking at the Westminster Media Forum, the Secretary of State said: “Small and medium-sized businesses need access to a diverse range of finance options, including non-bank lending. These new forms of finance are still small in scale today but they should, over time, bring additional choice and greater competition to the lending market.”

For creative sector SMEs wishing to innovate and grow, access to suitable finance remains one of the biggest on-going issues facing them. Creative England, the national agency for investing in and supporting the country’s creative industries, will be leading an Industry Group to consider how to tackle such issues faced by the sector.

The report, entitled ‘The UK Creative Industries: over talented, under resourced’, reviews existing studies on the sector, examines the data and evidence surrounding access to finance for the creative industries and recommends the following five practical solutions:

  1. Forget traditional banking, instead create a better understanding of the availability of other avenues for investment.
  2. Government to work with the sector to become more ‘Creative Industries friendly’ by improving existing (and developing new) interventions.
  3. Help businesses to understand the value of the IP they own – improve the information and understanding between the creative and financial communities.
  4. Improve the data.
  5. Stay focused on the bigger picture and strive to create an environment that is enabling to these businesses and competitive in the international landscape.

Kip Meek has been asked to chair the group charged with implementing the report. He is currently the Senior Advisor to EE, and was until recently chairman of a predecessor body to Creative England. He said: “This report provides a practical and coherent framework that can improve the creative industries access to investment. I look forward to helping make this improvement happen.”

Chief Executive of Creative England, Caroline Norbury, said: “This report proposes some practical approaches to address the very real obstacles that stand in the way of creative businesses accessing the right sort of finance.  We look forward to working with Kip and the industry to increase investment in the creative economy.”

Chair of the Industries Council Access to Finance Working Group, Ian Livingstone, in his foreword to the report, notes:  “For too long the creative industries have been seen as ‘fluffy’ and run by ‘luvvies’. For too long, they have been over-talented and under-resourced. There is a real opportunity for designers, artists and creative technologists to realise the true wealth-creating potential of their creativity and innovation.”

Creative Industries Council Access to Finance report

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