Matt Hancock – 2018 Speech at Cultural Industries Sector Deal

Below is the text of the speech made by Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, at the Roundhouse in Camden on 28 March 2018.

It’s great to be here at this iconic venue, which has attracted the cream of creative talent for years – Bob Dylan, The Clash, The Rolling Stones.

So it is the perfect venue to be celebrating the creative industries, which contribute over £90 billion to the UK economy every year.

And it’s great that this is a combination of initiatives between Government and the industries as a whole.

I was just on the Today programme, talking about this launch today and the first question I was asked was “Why do we need Government to help an industry to grow?”

I said that at the core of our Industrial Strategy is the insight that if we in Government get alongside industry, in a sensible way, where we don’t get in the way but we help to underpin them, then we can all do better together.

And it’s Greg Clark’s insight, in this modern Industrial Strategy, that the way to do that is through individual sector deals. Where we don’t say what we think ought to happen, and we don’t say “Here is the Government funding”, we say “What can we do together?”.

And we challenge you. And we say “Between us, what rules do we need to change and what expert investment can we bring to bear?”

I want to pay tribute, very directly, to Greg’s leadership on this. Because his insight that we must do this together, even though that’s not the traditional way of how Government operates, has been absolutely core to its success.

So for instance we have Josh here from Warner Brothers, breaking ground on two new sound stages at Leavesden, just one example of the Government and the private sector making things better.

This is about making sure our creative industries are successful right across the UK.

Whether it’s making the agreement with Channel 4 to have a new National HQ outside London, or building on the success of the BBC’s move to Salford, we want to make sure that the benefits of our creative industries are shared right across the country.

The new Cultural Development Fund will allow towns and cities to bid for a share of £20 million, specifically where we know that cultural investment and cultural institutions strengthen communities and strengthen local economies.

We’ve seen the transformative impact this investment can have. For example, in the Bristol Temple Quarter, Government funding got it going but it has delivered thousands of jobs – far in excess of what Government funding could have done on its own.

And in today’s Strategy, we’ve also announced that the British Business Bank is setting out a major commercial investment programme to unlock finance for IP-rich small businesses outside London and the South East.

But this extra money is no use if it can’t be accessed. So we’re also announcing support for new business support for high-growth creative firms.

And this will in turn create jobs. And we can’t do all this without a diverse mix of talented people to fill them.

We don’t want organisations limiting themselves to a smaller pond of talent or input, because then they’re missing out and can’t possibly reflect, represent or serve the country as a whole.

Now right after this event, I’m going to the DCMS Diversity Forum at Abbey Road Studios, which was set up to share best practice and find ways to solve some of the issues that exist around promoting diversity.

So it seems a fitting moment to announce that two million pounds of support will be made available through the Deal, to encourage a more diverse intake of talent and a greater number of routes into the creative industries, which is something that we really care about and where more needs to be done.

It’s also, of course, about us having the right environment for creative firms to show that the UK is a place where they can flourish and where they will get value for what they produce.

Anybody who knows me knows that I care deeply about this. Property rights underpin a strong and healthy market economy, and in the twenty-first century intellectual property rights underpin a strong market economy. And that is more important in the creative industries than anywhere else.

Because it’s making sure that the creativity can be paid for is, of course, really critical to making sure that you can produce more of it.

So in the Deal we set out measures to strengthen further intellectual property rights. As technology advances, the property that really matters is the ideas, the designs, the art and the concepts.

And so the Deal includes £2 million towards ‘Get it Right’ campaign to tackle online piracy and educate consumers on the value of copyright.

And also a crackdown on copyright infringement. Last year, we brokered a code between main search engines and the industry to reduce the prominence of illegal sites. I want to pay tribute to everybody from both sides who worked on that.

Now we want to work with rights holders and platforms, towards a similar approach to online advertising, social media, and online marketplaces.

And the measures in this Sector Deal will strengthen our world-leading creative industries, to make sure that we can thrive both here and around the world.

There is one final thing I want to say. This is not a document, it is a process.

This is only the beginning. We want to build on it and the make the deal even more ambitious over time. Because our creative industries show our country at its best.

And as the Minister not just for Culture but also for Digital, I know that ensuring we have the jobs of the future is really critical.

You can’t get a machine to write a play, or to direct a film. And you can’t code empathy and creativity, and that’s what lies at the heart of everything you do.

So this is the industry of the future, and that’s why we’re going to back it every step of the way.