Press release

New creative sector taskforce to boost trade by £500 million

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

A drive to help the UK’s creative companies win high value contracts overseas will be launched by the government today (28 November 2013).

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) will support a taskforce of the UK’s top 100 creative sector small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to win £500 million worth of high value overseas contracts in the next 3 years. The initiative is part of a government plan to get 100,000 more UK businesses exporting.

Companies on the taskforce include Zaha Hadid Architects, The British Museum, AKQA, ADCreative London, FutureBrand, Mother, ES Global, factorydesign, Populous and the V&A. They span the transport, healthcare, retail, cultural developments and global sports sectors.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

The growing appetite for British design offers many opportunities for innovative firms of all sizes to boost their overseas trade and attract new investment. Collectively the creative industries already generate more than £36 billion a year for the UK economy - £70,000 every minute - and employ 1.5 million people.

From airport interiors to ground-breaking medical devices and design exhibitions, the creative industries account for around £1 in every £10 of the UK’s exports and are crucial to building a stronger economy. With new support from UK Trade & Investment, we want to help creative SMEs access more high value supply chain opportunities across the globe.

Each company in the taskforce will have its own international expansion plan and participate in a minimum of 2 overseas visits each year to target high value projects. They will also receive training, support and networking opportunities directly related to these high value opportunities from UKTI and work with International Trade Advisers to identify the projects they are most qualified to bid for.

Until recently the market for UK creativity was limited largely to western Europe but as new markets mature and global trading channels widen, the demand for British creative expertise is escalating.

The interest, particularly from emerging markets in Asia and the Middle East and countries like Russia and Brazil, is based on Britain’s reputation as a leader in creative industries.

Notes to editors:

  1. Creative Industries, and in particular services such as design and architecture, are a key element of all major infrastructure projects, including major sporting events. This was highlighted in the delivery of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games. The government’s long term vision for the legacy of the Olympic Games aims to use the inspirational power of 2012, and future major sporting events, to set the long term ambitions for delivering lasting change in sport, our communities, the economy, regeneration of east London and driving forward the cause of disability equality. Just as the Games took ten years to win, plan and deliver, so legacy must be seen as a 10-year project to realise lasting change and growth - UKTI’s efforts in securing a long term economic benefit increasing exports and attracting investment is part of this vision.

  2. UKTI’s High Value Opportunities (HVO) programme focuses on 100 projects worldwide each of which are over £500 million in budget value and where the UK can compete for at least £250 million. UKTI’s ambition is to help UK businesses of all sizes secure, through the programme, £10 billion of contract wins in 2013/14 and £10 billion in 2014/15.

  3. The Exporting is GREAT Campaign launched in November 2013 and will reach almost 3 million individuals and 700,000 businesses with more than 4 employees, giving them a very specific call to action: to contact UKTI to find out more about exporting. It is intended to generate over 3,000 appointments with UKTI International Trade Advisers, giving small businesses direct access to expert advice, support and finance to help them export. The campaign will cost £2.4 million and drive £1.2 billion in incremental export revenue from the leads it generates. The campaign creative features 2 SMEs who have grown their business internationally as a result of UKTI advice. Their case studies are available from the UKTI press office. For more information, SMEs should go to www.greatbusiness.gov.uk/ukti or call 0800 093 2094.

  4. In the 2012 Autumn Statement, UKTI was awarded an additional £70 million for each of 2013/14 and 2014/15, enabling the recruitment of more international trade advisers around the country, expansion of existing services including the Trade Access Programme (TAP) and the Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS), and support to expand the range of assistance available to UK companies through overseas British chambers of commerce.

  5. The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set 4 ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011:

    • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
    • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
    • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
    • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

6.UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For more information on UKTI, visit www.ukti.gov.uk or visit the online newsroom at www.ukti.gov.uk/media.