Mary Macleod is the Member of Parliament for Brentford and Isleworth. Follow Mary on Twitter.
Everyone knows that London is the world’s top financial centre, but perhaps more easily forgotten is that it is also one of the great hubs for the creative industries.
Last weekend’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the upcoming London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics are prime examples of what this city can achieve. Yet after the Olympic fanfare has died down, London will look again to rely on its strengths, and our creative sector will remain a major focus and driver for the UK economy. We therefore need to ensure that conditions which have fostered its impressive growth are maintained and developed.
A recent report by London & Partners, the capital’s official promotional agency, stated that London’s creative industry is its second largest sector. It is worth £20 billion a year and responsible for generating 16% of the city’s annual gross value added. Almost 400,000 people work in London’s creative industries, with 20% directly employed in broadcasting, as well as film and video. This adds up to a third of the whole of the UK’s creative jobs.
London also boasts access to some of the best graduate talent and many of the country’s independent broadcasters employ hundreds of technicians, planners and producers. The capital has a unique combination of skilled workers, cultural diversity, vast services, hi-tech infrastructure and direct access to wealthy consumer markets. These are perfect reasons why creative businesses should get their foot in the door, today.