HC Deb 02 May 2001 vol 367 cc656-8W
Mr. McNamara

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will list the membership and terms of reference of the creative industries taskforce; what publications and reports have been completed to date; what work is under way; and what measures the group has taken to promote creative works among members of ethnic minorities, including the Irish community in Britain. [159554]

Janet Anderson

The creative industries taskforce was established in 1997. Its terms of reference wereto provide a forum in which Government Ministers could come together with a few senior industry figures to assess the value of the creative industries, analyse their needs in terms of Government policies and identify ways of maximising their economic impact".

It commissioned the first creative industries mapping documents, published in November 1998, and agreed a work programme in December 1998 to analyse key generic issues impacting on the creative industries.

The reports and publications commissioned by the creative industries task force were: Creative Industries Mapping Document, November 1998 Exports: Our Hidden Potential, November 1999 UK Television Exports Inquiry, November 1999 Internet Inquiry: Snapshot of a Rolling Wave, February 2000 The Regional Dimension: the Report of the Regional Issues Working Group, February 2000 Report from the Intellectual Property Group of the Creative Industries Task Force, March 2000 Your Creative Future, April 2000 Report on the Finance Conference: Connecting Creativity with Capital, May 2000 Creative Industries Mapping Document, March 2001.

Having fulfilled its initial remit, the taskforce was wound up in June 2000. The work of ensuring its analysis is turned into action is now being carried forward by the ministerial creative industries strategy group, whose current membership is:

  • Right hon. Chris Smith, MP
  • Right hon. Hilary Armstrong, MP
  • Patricia Hewitt, MP
  • Stephen Timms, MP
  • Janet Anderson, MP
  • Dr. Kim Howells, MP
  • Michael Wills, MP
  • Baroness Scotland of Asthal
  • Michael McGimpsey, MLA
  • Jenny Randerson, AM
  • Allan Wilson, MSP.

In terms of activities currently under way, we are working with Universities UK towards establishing a creative industries higher education forum to promote better communication between education and industry; we are encouraging the development of innovative approaches to funding creative businesses and are planning a finance good practice workshop this summer; we are examining the possibility of organising a workshop on creative industries in a rural environment to be held this autumn; we will shortly report to the better regulation taskforce on the regulatory burden facing creative businesses; Scottish Enterprise has identified the creative industries as a key industry cluster and announced a £25 million support programme over five years; the Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure, in partnership with three other Departments in the Northern Ireland Assembly, has launched a consultation exercise called "Unlocking Creativity" providing a career path from school to work; and we have established a creative industries statistical review group to consider how to improve data collection on the creative industries.

We are also encouraging regional players such as the regional development agencies and cultural consortiums to work together to maximise the potential of the creative industries in their area, and similarly with local authorities, in terms of developing their cultural strategies. Through efforts at these levels, we look to promote creative opportunity for all, including the Irish community in Britain.