To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he has made an assessment of the recent representations made to his Department on establishing a UK Creators Council as a mechanism to improve communication between the Government and representatives from the creative workforce.
The Government engages regularly with a wide range of leading industry experts in the creative industries, including through the Creative Industries Council (CIC), a forum for Government and industry to convene and share information, and discuss concerns and opportunities. The CIC is formed of a broad range of representative bodies across the sub-sectors of the creative industries.
In January, we received a joint letter from a range of representative bodies including the Design and Artists Copyright Society, the Association of Authors’ Agents and the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain among others. The letter called for the creation of a UK Creators’ Council and highlighted their concern that the issues faced by the UK’s creative industries workforce were not being heard, in particular during this Covid crisis.
We would like to reaffirm that the Government and DCMS are keenly aware of the significant challenges faced by the UK creative workforce. These issues have been repeatedly discussed in both CIC meetings and in ongoing conversations with sector bodies across the creative industries. And it is partly as a result of these conversations that the Government announced the expansion of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme scheme to cover over 600,000 newly eligible self-employed individuals, and extended the Culture Recovery Fund with £300m additional funding for 21/22, to continue to support key cultural organisations.
Considering this, we believe that the interests of the creative workforce are well-represented across Government and the benefits of creating a new entity would need to be carefully weighed up against the risks of duplicating the work of existing organisations such as the CIC. However, I would be happy to discuss further ideas to ensure the creative workforce are strongly represented in Government.