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Dear George Osborne, is Music no longer a Creative Industry?

Tim Ingham
Dear George Osborne, is Music no longer a Creative Industry?

Chancellor George Osborne has just announced a new £6 million investment fund for Britain's ‘Creative Industries’ - but, bizarrely, music companies won’t be getting a penny.

The new money, announced by the Chancellor in his Autumn Statement, will be used to provide entry-level and professional-level training for up to 3,300 people working in film, television, animation and video games companies.

But not those in the music industry. In fact, they didn't even warrant a mention.

Universal, Beggars, Sony/ATV/EMI, Live Nation and the thousands of other UK music companies and entrepreneurs who previously thought of themselves as 'just a wee bit creative' must be delighted.

The DCMS says the money will ‘help the UK’s creative industries contribute to economic growth by ensuring they have the skilled workforce they need to compete in a fast-moving world market’.

Just not the music industry.

The money will support training over the next two years and will be matched by each UK creative market lucky enough to be chosen.

But not the music industry.

The DCMS statement continues: ‘In what is a hugely competitive and rapidly-changing environment, it will help ensure that our creative industries have the skilled workforce they need to compete in today’s global race.’

But not the music industry.

What exactly is going on? Is music simply too cool to be a 'Creative Industry' now? Have we run out of melodies? Have all the songs been written? SOMEBODY CALL ADELE.

Music Week has asked the DCMS why companies in our industry have been omitted from the new hand-out, and await a response.**

What we DO know is this: According to the DCMS' own Creative Industries Economic Estimates report from December 2011...

  • Music & Visual and Performing Arts are the largest employers in the Creative Industries with 300,000 employed in 2009.

Not to worry.

Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey said about the new fund today: “Our creative industries are worth over £36 billion a year at the latest count. They are a real success story and a key part of our economic growth strategy."

Not all of our creative industries, hey Ed.

“But they need to make sure that they can continue to compete in the global marketplace - which is hugely competitive and constantly evolving. This new £6m investment will make sure that our creative industries have people with the right skills to make sure they stay at the top.”

But not the music industry.

Lest we forget, the new money follows the introduction of shiny tax reliefs for high–end TV production, animation and video games companies.

But not the music industry.

Creative Skillset’s Skills Investment Fund currently manages film industry investment but will now extend its scope to manage other investment, including the new match funding arrangement for all four sectors covered by the tax breaks.

But not the music industry.

**[UPDATE: Well, we got one, straight from the DCMS mouth: "Today’s announcement of additional short-term funding is a follow on from the introduction of tax reliefs for high–end TV production, animation and video games. It’s been put in place to ensure that that skills in these industries will keep pace with the forecast increased demand for their services, thereby maximising their potential for growth."]

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Tags: DCMS, George Osborne

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