Caroline Norbury MBE in About


Creative England's Caroline Norbury Autumn Statement Response

At first sight, this has been a better than expected review for the Creative Industries. I was pleased to hear the Chancellor acknowledge today that one of the best investments we can make as a nation is in our arts, museums, heritage and media.  

As ever, though, the devil will be in the detail, and we will look out for further information on BIS budget cuts and what they really mean for a living sector worth £76.9 billion to the economy, which has grown almost 10% year on year, and employs over 1.8 million people. We must maintain our competitive edge in a sector which the World Economic Forum has estimated could represent up to 12% of global GDP.

Devolution and Regional Funding

We are delighted to see additional impetus given to the regeneration of regional cities through devolution, as well as the promotion of regional development through greater spending on catapult centres. We want to promote regional English creative talent to the world, because creativity is indispensable to the economic transformation of our towns and cities. 

We hope that Government will also guarantee a long-term policy backed by public investment to allow cities to develop distinct and complementary specialisms, building on their unique strengths.

Key Findings From the Autumn Statement:

Department of Culture, Media and Sport

  • Settlement includes: £1.6 billion of capital investment over the next 5 years. A reduction in core DCMS administrative costs.
  • Less than 1% of total government expenditure goes to culture, media and sport; sectors which account for almost a sixth of the UK economy.
  • To ensure the benefits of digital communications infrastructures are felt across the economy and translated into productivity gains, the government will publish a Digital Transformation Plan in early 2016.
  • To encourage museums and galleries to develop creative new exhibitions and display their collections for a wide audience, the government will explore with the sector the case for introducing a new tax relief for museums and galleries.
  • The government is committed to supporting the arts and our world class national museums and galleries which make a rich contribution to society and our economy. The government will ensure that these sectors have the same amount of government funding in cash terms in 2019-20 as they do today. 

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

  • Settlement includes prioritising key growth and productivity objectives by protecting science resource funding in real terms, and maintaining Innovate UK support for businesses.
  • Delivering 3 million high quality apprenticeships by 2020, compared to 2.4 million in the last Parliament and putting employers in control of funding through a new levy.

Local Government Reform

  • The devolution revolution offers them unprecedented new levers of power to generate growth for their area. The government will allow local government to keep the rates they collect from business, give councils the power to cut business rates to boost growth, and give elected city-wide mayors the power to levy a business rates premium for local infrastructure projects – with the support of local business. 
  • By the end of the Parliament local government will retain 100% of business rate revenues to fund local services, giving them control of £13 billion of additional local tax revenues, and £26 billion in total business rate revenues. The system of top-ups and tariffs which redistributes revenues between local authorities will be retained. The Uniform Business Rate will be abolished and any local area will be able to cut business rates as much as they like, to win new jobs and generate wealth. Fixing the current broken system of financing local government will strengthen incentives to boost growth, help attract business and create jobs. 
  • Elected city-wide mayors will be able to add a premium to business rates to pay for new infrastructure, provided they have the support of the local business community through a majority of business members of their Local Enterprise Partnership.
  • DCLG will shortly consult on changes to the local government finance system to pave the way for the implementation of 100% business rate retention. As part of these reforms, the main local government grant will be phased out and additional responsibilities devolved to local authorities, empowering them to drive local economic growth and support their local community

UK Trade and Investment

  • To support trade and investment and meet targets including £1 trillion of exports by 2020, the government will refocus UKTI to enable it to become a world-class export and investment promotion agency. This will enhance direct support to business and develop the private sector market. The government will support this through £175 million total reinvestment between 2016-17 and 2019-20 as part of UKTI’s settlement. This is part of a broader government effort to boost exports, including to build the domestic environment for firms and develop global trade relations.

Northern Powerhouse

  • The government has agreed with the British Business Bank and LEPs in the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber and Tees Valley to create a Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund of over £400 million to invest in smaller businesses, subject to European funding arrangements. Together with a separate fund in the North East this will make over £500 million available across the Northern Powerhouse

Click here to read the full Spending Review and Autumn Statement. Follow Creative England on Twitter.

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