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Creative Industries

Volume 540: debated on Thursday 9 February 2012

This is my first chance to welcome the hon. Lady to the House following her by-election victory.

We are of course supporting the creative industries. We have established the Creative Industries Council, which is chaired by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. Creative England is supporting the creative industries throughout England. We have created one home for British film, with increased lottery funding, and established the film policy review, which has been widely welcomed. The computer science curriculum is being revolutionised as a result of the Livingstone-Hope review.

I thank the Minister for that answer. The global games industry is likely to see more than £50 billion a year in software sales alone by 2014. Having worked with much of Britain’s developer and publisher talent, it is clear that there is great potential for our interactive entertainment industry to provide much-needed growth to the UK economy. What assessment have the Government made of the needs of the interactive entertainment industry and how we need to respond?

The UK has a thriving video games sector; it is fair to say that we are probably the European leaders. As I mentioned earlier, we have conducted the skills review to ensure that kids can learn about computer science in school and be ready for the industry. We engage regularly with the industry on a whole range of issues.

In the last year of the Labour Government, UK television exports grew by 13%, which is further evidence of our creative industries’ global appeal and potential for jobs and growth. Can the Minister tell the House when we can expect a comprehensive strategy for increasing our international business with developing economies, especially Brazil, Russia, India and China?

We have regular discussions with the BRIC countries. I have been to Beijing to represent the creative industries and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has been to Brazil. We obviously engage with India and Russia, and this week we met a delegation from Mexico to talk about the creative industries, so we are engaging around the globe on the creative industries and their huge success, which is admired around the world. As the House will be aware, last year the UK topped the US singles chart at Nos. 1, 2 and 3, more than 50% of the top albums in the UK were by British artists, and British films topped the UK box office for 20 weeks. We are doing extremely well in the creative industries, and the world recognises it, and 2012 will put the spotlight on that.