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Creative Industries

Volume 590: debated on Thursday 15 January 2015

2. What steps he is taking to encourage the development of creative industries to help regenerate outer-city estates. (906994)

Economic estimates for the creative industries published this week have shown that the sector plays a leading role in our long-term economic plan. The figures estimated that in 2013 there were 84,000 jobs in the creative industries in the east midlands, and the Government continue to work closely with the sector so that it can produce further jobs and growth across Britain.

Welcome as those figures are, does the Secretary of State agree that there is sometimes an imbalance with the creative industries necessarily being located in the inner cities, city centres and business districts for tourism, heritage and media, and that very few go to the outer-city estates and working-class areas of the sort I represent? I chair the Rebalancing Nottingham North charity. Will he find some time in his busy diary to meet me and discuss how we can balance the expansion of creative industries so that everyone can benefit?

The hon. Gentleman is right to highlight that important point, and I commend his excellent work in taking forward the Rebalancing the Outer Estates Foundation. He will know that the Arts Council supports many regions around the country and helps with that rebalancing effort, but there is always more we can do, and I or the Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy would be happy to meet him to take that issue forward.

The BBC has an excellent building in Glasgow, as does STV, and a lot of money has been put in by these large companies. One thing that has been missed is localism within the creative industries, and although a certain amount of action is supposed to take place outside the M25 corridor, we are not seeing that north of the border.

I referred earlier to a report published this week, which shows strong growth in the creative industries throughout the UK in every region, including Scotland. I encourage the hon. Gentleman to take a look at it. If he has any fresh ideas that he thinks we should look at, I would be happy to speak to him.