Creative industries: export help

How the Department for International Trade (DIT) can help UK companies in the creative industries export overseas.

The UK has a long and successful history of trading with all parts of the world. Its creative industries are a huge success story, delivering over £17.9 billion of exports in 2013, 8.7% of all UK exports.

Music, television, film, games, fashion, design and architecture have been notably strong at developing content, products, services and talent for overseas markets. For more information see:

For more information on the UK creative industries visit

Department for International Trade Creative Industries team:

  • works with the main industry bodies and stakeholders across the sector to help UK companies succeed in the international market
  • promotes the UK’s world class creative industries sector
  • provides access to key decision makers and potential partners in markets across the globe

They do this through:

  • a tailored programme of support at major international trade fairs
  • bespoke seminars
  • trade missions

Contact: John Durkan

Follow DIT Creative team on Twitter @tradegovuk_CI

Creative events

Register your interest to attend DIT creative events, including missions and webinars.

Watch highlights of the UK’s creative showcase during the Chinese state visit:

Video: Creative Collaborations: UK and China

Export opportunities

DIT provides free international export sales leads from its worldwide network. Find creative export opportunities.

Export finance

You may need some form of credit guarantee or insurance to protect you against non-payment or other financial issues in certain markets. UK Export Finance (UKEF) can provide extra capital to finance large projects and help grow businesses.

Consult with a UKEF export finance adviser to find out about trade finance and insurance support.

See how UKEF helped BDP (a global design practice providing expert architectural, design and engineering services).

UK Export Finance: BDP video case study


In 2013, the UK exported £2.64 billion of services from the advertising and marketing sector, almost a 13% increase over 2012. (source: Creative Industries 2015: Focus on Exports)

In addition, successful advertising helps British brands to enjoy strong international recognition, enabling the UK to export a much wider range of goods and services (source: Advertising Pays – How Advertising Fuels the UK Economy).

  1. Shopitize rolls out globally


UK based architects are renowned worldwide for their training and expertise and are in demand across the globe.

The UK architecture industry exported £359 million in services in 2013 (source: Creative Industries 2015: Focus on Exports).


Design makes a significant positive contribution to the UK’s international trade performance. High quality design is one of the UK’s main selling points in the global economy and helps to sustain a range of export activities.

Important overseas markets are advanced economies in the European Union and the Americas. Evidence suggests that exports to emerging markets such as China, Russia and India are also starting to grow (source: UK design as a global industry IPO).

The UK ranks fourth in the world for design exports and exports 50% more design services than it imports (source: Creative Industries Economic Estimates 2015).

Digital games

UK developed games are in strong and increasing demand overseas. It is estimated that 95% of UK games businesses export at least some of their products or services to overseas markets. On average, almost half of a UK games company’s turnover is generated from international sales (source: TIGA).

  1. Creative sector tax reliefs


The UK fashion industry is highly respected and successful worldwide.

UK designers export two thirds of the clothing that they produce. Major markets include China, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Russia, the Middle East and the USA (source: British Fashion Council)

  1. Christopher Raeburn: making it in Japan

Film, television and animation

The UK film industry is big on innovative ideas, creativity and skills and is a valuable and growing contributor to the UK economy. The UK film industry exported £1.3 billion worth of services in 2012, 71% higher than in 1995. (source: BFI Statistical Yearbook 2014). For more about the UK film industry visit the British Film Commission.

Film is GREAT

The UK television industry has a truly global reach and appeal and international exports of UK TV programmes have grown steadily in recent years. The estimated total revenue from the international sale of UK TV programmes and associated activities was £1.2 billion in 2014/15 (source: PACT TV export survey).

The UK is considered a world leader in animation and offers internationally renowned expertise in a wide range of specialisms. Within the major western markets, the UK has, in value terms, around a 15% share of the TV animation produced (source: Securing the future of UK animation, Animation UK, September 2011.)

  1. Creative sector tax reliefs

Museums and attractions

The UK is one of the world’s leaders in the aptly named ‘experience economy’, the creation and operation of visitor attractions. Attractions are increasingly becoming a retail ‘experience’ and include:

  • museums

  • art galleries

  • heritage sites

  • theme parks

  • aquaria

  • gardens

  • zoos

  • shopping malls

Find out more on

Contact: Richard Parry, Head of Experience Economy.


The UK has a strong track record in developing and promoting the international careers of its talented composers and performers. It consistently delivers acts that break across international territories and sell in markets right across the world. Recorded UK music exports grew by 17% in 2014, reflecting the UK’s status as the second largest provider in the world (source: Measuring Music 2015).

The Music Export Growth Scheme, launched in September 2013, provides £1 million a year to help UK music companies develop artists or projects internationally.


The UK publishing industry is highly successful in overseas markets. In 2014 UK book publishers exported 270 million physical books, worth £1.24 billion. Export sales of physical books account for 44% of the UK book publishing industry’s revenue (source: PA Statistics Yearbook 2014).

Published 24 July 2014
Last updated 21 April 2017 + show all updates
  1. Added 'Hitting the high note: government targets lucrative Chinese music industry' - latest round of Music Exports Growth Scheme funding announced.
  2. Added Chinese state visit video
  3. Added new music press release
  4. Updated statistics in opening paragraph
  5. Added music press release.
  6. Added Shopitize case study
  7. Added link to
  8. Added a link to Milan Expo
  9. Added music press release
  10. First published.