From education to employment

UAL leads commission to keep UK’s creative industries globally competitive

University of the Arts London (UAL) is leading a commission, the first in a programme of ongoing research, to understand how to ensure the UK’s creative industries remain globally competitive and are recognised as a crucial soft-power asset, valued for the significant benefits they offer.  

The outcome, to be authored by Creative Industries expert Eliza Easton, ‘Keeping the UK’s creative industries globally competitive: a playbook to protect our future prosperity and security’, will provide concrete proposals in the areas of trade, migration, and foreign policy. It is scheduled for publication in late Spring 2024.

UAL Chief Social Purpose Officer Polly Mackenzie said,

“As a leading institution for the creative industries in the UK, UAL has a social purpose and a responsibility, not only for our current students and alumni but for future generations of creatives, creative practise, and the world in which we live.

“This commission is the first in a programme of work to support, shape and elevate the creative industries. Creativity has the power to make radical changes in all areas of society. It can offer solutions to some of the biggest issues we face together, including the need for equitable prosperity and environmental regeneration and replenishment.

“That is why UAL’s mission is to cement the UK’s status as a creative powerhouse, and its global reputation as an industry that has a positive impact on the nation’s health, prosperity, wellbeing and future security.”

UAL President and Vice-Chancellor James Purnell said,

“We believe that the world can be changed through creative endeavour and know that there’s a growing body of evidence demonstrating that the UK’s economy can only benefit from our creative industries remaining globally competitive and thriving. 

“This commission will create an undeniable case for a collective behaviour and mindset shift and outline the steps we can take together to safeguard and elevate the creative industries, where culture is regarded as essential infrastructure, indispensable to our security, our wellbeing, and our national life.”

Partners and Advisors

This commission has been set up by UAL in partnership with Eliza Easton, Founder of Erskine Analysis, in response to changes in the UK’s changing geopolitical situation over the past decade. It will take into consideration the crucial role the creative industries play within the UK economy as an exporting powerhouse and vital employer, as well as the impact of Brexit and global unrest.

The commission will be chaired by UAL President and Vice-Chancellor James Purnell.

Advisors who span the cultural, arts and political spectrum have been appointed to contribute to this crucial piece of work. They include co-Secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Creative Diversity, former journalist and broadcaster Dr.Joanna Abeyie, Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin,broadcaster and former creative director of theRoyal Opera HouseBaroness Bull,Chief Executive of the Edinburgh International FestivalFrancesca Hegyi, Chair of Historic England Lord Mendoza, Founding Chair of Creative England and ambassador for the creative industries John Newbigin, Executive Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council Professor Christopher Smith, Executive Director of the National Theatre Kate Varahand Chief Social Purpose Officer for UAL, Polly Mackenzie.

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