News story

Ultrafast broadband for 12 UK cities, GREAT boost and £6 million for creative and digital skills

What the growth-focused Autumn Statement means for our sectors.

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

The Statement provides an update on the Government’s plans for the economy based on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Full details of the announcements can be found on the Treasury website. You can also follow the Autumn Statement coverage on twitter via @hmtreasury and the #AS2012 hashtag.

Ultrafast broadband

The Chancellor announced a £50 million investment to create a second wave of 12 ‘super-connected cities’. The cities will use the funding to provide homes and businesses with ultrafast broadband (at least 80-100 Mbps) and high speed wireless Internet access.

The 12 cities are: Brighton and Hove, Cambridge, Coventry, Derby, Oxford, Portsmouth, Salford, and York in England; Aberdeen and Perth in Scotland; Newport in Wales; and Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland. A first wave of super-connected cities was announced in the Budget, earlier this year.

Commenting on the proposals, Culture Secretary Maria Miller said “Fast broadband is essential for growth and the creation of jobs.  The twelve cities have produced ambitious and comprehensive plans, which will turn them into digital leaders, and give local economies a real boost.”

Read more about the super-connected cities announcement.

GREAT campaign boosted to £30 million

The biggest ever international marketing campaign for the UK has also received a funding boost.  The GREAT campaign, which showcases the best of the UK - from business to sport to culture - will receive an additional £22m investment for 2013-14, up from £8 million announced in August.  This comes on top of £25 million already being invested in the campaign this year.  The funding allows the campaign to target more people in more key markets in the coming year.

Early forecasts on the financial returns from our investment in the GREAT campaign are encouraging. Analysis shows that our investment in the campaign to date is projected to help generate around a quarter of a billion pounds for the British economy over the next two years.

Read more about the GREAT announcement.

£6 million for creative and digital skills

The Chancellor also announced a new £6m boost to help the UK’s creative industries contribute to economic growth, by ensuring they have the skilled workforce they need to compete in a fast-moving world market.

The money will be used to provide entry-level and professional-level training for up to 3,300 people working in our film, television, animation and video games companies. It will support training over the next two years and will be matched by the industry. 

This announcement follows the introduction of new tax reliefs for high-end TV production, animation and video games in the Budget earlier this year.

Some examples of benefits the £6 million funding could deliver include:

  • Film: £600,000 would support 250 new entrants and existing practitioners in craft and technical areas; £400,000, could support 150 professionals in production management, raising industry standards and decreasing the need to recruit from overseas
  • TV: £900,000 would help 75 interns into first industry placements and 50 junior professionals could develop their key skills to respond to the production challenges the TV tax relief will attract
  • Video games: £500,000 would train 500 individuals in the workforce to up-skill them in key priority areas
  • Animation: £800,000 would establish a Graduate Internship Scheme, creating entry routes for 200 highly skilled new entrants from Creative Skillset accredited HE courses

Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey called UK creative industries “a real success story”, noting “they need to make sure that they can continue to compete in the global marketplace - which is hugely competitive and constantly evolving.” He continued “This new £6m investment will make sure that our creative industries have people with right skills to make sure they stay at the top.”

Read more about the creative skills announcement.

Further information

Published 10 December 2012