Skip to main content

Creative Industries

Volume 593: debated on Thursday 26 February 2015

8. What recent assessment he has made of the contribution of the creative industries in London to the UK economy. (907747)

Let me tell you, Mr Speaker, that these final DCMS questions are turning into an absolute joy. I can see your heart lifting every time I reach the Dispatch Box, and now I have done so to tell you that the creative industries make a fantastic contribution to London’s economy, employing half a million people.

My constituency is home to the west London creative industries hub, comprising hundreds of TV, IT and other creative industry businesses. To be successful, these businesses need to be connected. My hon. Friend and colleagues have done great work in delivering superfast broadband especially in rural areas, but will he consider some of the creative companies in west London that are still waiting to be superfast?

On Tuesday night I spoke to the Hounslow chamber of commerce at the headquarters of iBurbia in Chiswick. The managing director there rushed up to me to say that he had just got superfast broadband by using one of our super-connected voucher schemes. He also said to me, utterly unprompted, that he thought my hon. Friend was one of the hardest-working people he had ever met. He told the entire room, full of hundreds of business people, that fact.

Obviously London is an important creative hub in terms of its contribution to the UK economy, but other cities such as Bristol can make a real contribution too. What assessment has the Minister made of programmes like Plus Tate, in which the Tate is working with other galleries such as the Arnolfini in Bristol, that enable the London institutions to help places in other cities?

Plus Tate is a fantastic programme that belies the statistics saying that London has more money spent on the arts than the rest of the country. The money that goes to the Tate helps to support 24 contemporary art museums around the country, and the scheme is very successful. It is worth bearing that in mind.

Is my hon. Friend aware of the concern expressed by creative industries in London and elsewhere about the way in which the EU regulation covering temporary structures is being interpreted as that could lead to huge extra costs in the building of film sets and theatrical and musical stages? Is he aware that other European countries are not interpreting it in this way, and will he ensure that we are not gold-plating unnecessarily?

Yes, I am well aware of this issue. The Secretary of State is also closely aware of it and discussing it keenly. I am sure that my hon. Friend understands where our sympathies lie.