Help and support

The Creative Industries – the new golden age

There is a quiet revolution happening in our country that is driving forward the UK‘s global presence in film, TV, games, animation and digital production. Artists, entrepreneurs and technologists are working together to make our creative sector a major force in the world.

The statistics are staggering. The creative industries in the UK are worth more than £36 billion a year, and generate £790,000 every minute for our economy. They employ 1.5 million people in the UK and account for £1 in every £10 of UK exports. We are the second largest exporter of television output in the world, and have created some of the most globally recognisable games – Lara Croft Tomb Raider ring a bell?

Earlier this year we celebrated the publication of England’s top 50 Creative Companies and this week Tim Rivett, the BBA’s mentoring manager, had the pleasure of attending the Creative Industries Council’s launch of Hiive – a new professional network for creative people. Some 100 senior executives from the sector attended the launch, which also celebrated the achievements of creative businesses more generally.

The Founder of Candy Crush Saga, Riccardo Zaconni addressed the gathering to stress the importance of supporting creative businesses, and to explain how his own success was grown on the back of creative talent in the UK and the support that they enjoyed from our government. From 4 people in a tiny office to a New York flotation worth £5billion – it’s certainly some achievement and undoubtedly one we should be proud of.

The development of businesses like Candy Crush needs to be supported by access to the right finance, at the right time, in the right mix. That is why the banking industry has been working closely with the Creative Industries Council and Creative England over the last year to ensure that growing, IP-rich businesses understand what banks can offer them.

Many banks now have dedicated creative industry and telecommunications, media and technology or “TMT” specialists who understand the specific needs of – and challenges facing – those in the sector.

We’ve also been working to make sure that they know what other forms of finance are available – from angel finance to crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending.

I am delighted that Nicola Mendelsohn – VP EMEA for facebook and chair of the Creative Industries Council – used the launch of Hiive to recognise this support and the work the banking industry is doing to help this sector.

Banks are committed to supporting the creative industries, whether that be through bank finance, or partnering with alternatives, or giving that all important support through Mentorsme.co.uk. My first job in banking gave me the opportunity to work with leading advertising and film brands, so on a personal level I am also delighted to be involved with this vibrant sector once again.

Here’s to the next Lara Croft, and to a future of new film, TV, design, fashion and advertising gurus.

We are about to kick start our joint finance workshops with the first session taking place in facebook’s European HQ next Thursday. Bankers, angels, finance specialists and mentors will all be at hand to meet with creative businesses and work with them on finance options and how to approach the next of stage of their business growth. If you are interested in coming there is still time to sign up. Just go to:

http://www.creativeengland.co.uk/business/access-to-finance

Written by Irene Graham, Executive Director of Business Finance