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Another record year for the UK’s creative industries 2014 has revealed continued growth across the creative industries


30 December 2014

Latest statistics show that 2014 has been another incredible year for the UK’s creative industries. Data shows records being broken in music, UK video games continuing to lead the European market and British film fascinating audiences through prolific titles such as ’12 Years a Slave’ and ‘Mandela: Long walk to freedom’.

Ed Vaizey, Minister for the Creative Industries said "2014 has been a fantastic year for UK music, film and video games. It's great to see continued growth across all our creative industries with more investment going into training and production. Together the sector contributes £70bn to the UK and so a vital part of our economy. I look forward to 2015 with the expectation of even greater things to come."

Between January and October this year the top five British films collectively brought in £72.93m to the UK box office. With the last quarter of this year promising more great figures as titles such as ‘The Imitation Game’ and ‘Mr. Turner’ are piped to fall into the top five highest grossing films of 2014[1].

The BFI London Film Festival enjoyed record numbers of audiences, 163,000 people attended the festival – a 7.5 per cent increase on the previous year and the highest number of attendees to date. These figures reveal the UK consumers growing appetite for great film.

The global film industry also reveals a strong appetite for British talent and technique as this year we welcomed the opening of a UK branch to Lucas Film’s Industrial Light and Magic. Signalling a great step in film production - a move that could lead to epic’s even greater than Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Gravity’ (2013). Pinewood Studios and Warner Brothers Leavesden continue to go from strength to strength and we can look forward to the next Bond and Star Wars films, which will bring all eyes to UK film once again.

On the music scene, latest figures[2] reveal that nine of the top ten biggest selling artist albums of 2014 were UK acts, with Pharrell Williams being the only international artist to make the cut. Undoubtedly, British music continues to lead the world stage:

Ed Sheeran recently received the title for biggest one-week sales of any artist album in 2014;
Sam Smith was named the only artist in the world to sell a million albums in both the UK and the US this year; and One Direction have been titled the first band in history to have their first three albums top the US Billboard chart.

The Government continues to invest in the long-term development of British music through schemes such as Music Export Growth, where is providing grants of up to £50,000 to support independent music companies market UK music overseas. There is also a focus on providing access to learning, nurturing the growth of future talent, with the Government investing £171m into Music Education Hubs to ensure every child aged 5-18 has the opportunity to sing or learn a musical instrument.

On the video games front, the UK games sector is renowned for its talent and for the creativity and innovation of its products. Many world-beating games originated from British developers including Grand Theft Auto, Elite, Lemmings, Tomb Raider, LittleBigPlanet and Moshi Monsters.

The UK is also a leading investment destination for overseas video games companies. Examples include Warner Bros’ acquisition of Traveller’s Tales, makers of the developing LEGO gaming series (LEGO Batman, Star Wars and Harry Potter). The UK is also home to the largest games development community in Europe[3] with 1,902 video game companies based in the country with the potential of bringing in £1.72bn[4] to the UK economy.

To further support the UK’s video games industry, the Government’s Gaming Tax Relief, introduced earlier this year, which could be worth £25 million per year for the industry[5]. It will also open up further opportunities for training and employment.

Nicola Mendelsohn, industry co-chair of the Creative Industries Council (CIC) and Vice President for EMEA at Facebook said "2014 has been a growth year for the UK's creative industries with many developments, initiatives and international awards.

"The Creative Industries Council launched CreateUK - the first ever industry-led strategy to ensure growth and secure further jobs in the UK and internationally. It will also play an important role in exporting UK creativity to the rest of the world and encouraging inward investment here.

"The sector has found a strategy and working arrangement with Government that means we are well placed to continue to secure the UK’s place as a leading global hub for the creative industries for the decades to come."

2014 has been a profitable and exciting year across all the creative industries. The Government remains committed to the growth of the sector through measures such as tax reliefs, inward investments and the creation of opportunities through access to training.

More information on Creative Industries UK and the CreateUK Strategy can be found here

More information on Creative Industry Tax Reliefs can be found here

Top five UK films from January to September 2014 (Rentrak, BFI RSU analysis)

1. The Inbetweeners 2, £33.39m
2. 12 Years a Slave, £20.03m
3. Non-Stop, £9.48m
4. The Railway Man, £5.33m
5. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom £4.43m