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UK government agrees £150m ‘sector deal’ for creative businesses

New deal will see significant investments made across the entire industry

The UK government and the creative industries sector, through the Creative Industries Council (CIC), have agreed a ‘sector deal’ to boost growth for creative businesses.

The deal will invest more than £150 million across the industry, including:

• places of the future – by funding leading creative clusters to compete globally

• technologies and content of the future – via research into augmented reality and virtual reality

• creative skills of the future – via a careers programme that will open up creative jobs to people of every background

Of the £150m, which is comprised of government and industry investment, £72m will come from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, £39m of which will be invested by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in eight “creative research and development partnerships across Britain”.

The remaining £33m will be invested in immersive technology products, services and experiences, including virtual reality in video games, interactive art shows and tourism. The government will also support the UK’s video games industry with an additional £1.5m going to the UK Games Fund over the next two years.

Further initiatives include a Cultural Development Fund, to be administered by Arts Council England, that will allow cities and towns to bid for a share of £20m to invest in creative and cultural initiatives, and an extra £2m in backing to the ‘Get It Right’ campaign, which tackles online piracy and educates consumers on the value of copyright.

In training, a further £2m will be made available to fund industry-led skills packages, including a creative careers programme the government says will be able to reach at least 2,000 schools and 600,000 pupils. Finally, a new creative industries Trade and Investment board, comprising both industry and government, is being set up to replace the current Sector Advisory Group.