Dezeen Magazine

Creative industries central to future of post-Brexit Britain says minister for digital and culture

Creative industries central to future of post-Brexit Britain says minister for digital and culture

Brexit: the crossover between culture and technology is "how Britain will pay her way" outside of the EU, according to the UK government's first statement about the design sector since the Brexit vote.

In his first speech since his appointment in July, the minister for digital and culture Matt Hancock said that the creative sectors were key to the future of the UK both economically and culturally.

"Creative industries will be absolutely central to our post-Brexit future," said Hancock.

"Economically, because where artistic design intersects with digital capability is the nexus at the heart of the future economy. This nexus of art and technology is how Britain will pay her way in the 21st century," said Hancock.

"Our creative industries are, and always have been, central to how we are seen and how we see ourselves as a nation," he added.

"We must define Brexit Britain as open and optimistic, gregarious and global, progressive and positively engaged in the world, as Britain is when we are at our best. The creative industries are critical to securing that status."

Hancock was appointed minister of state for digital and culture in July as part of the new government following the results of the EU Referendum.

He was speaking this morning at an event organised by the Creative Industries Federation (CIF) – an independent membership body set up by London Design Festival founder John Sorrell as a lobbying organisation for the creative industries.

"I look forward very much to working with the Creative Industries Federation and Creative Industries Council, and listening to the views you represent, not least the work you've done on the challenges and opportunities of Brexit," said Hancock.

"I will fight to ensure that the creative and digital industries are at the heart of this government's industrial strategy, with a tax, regulatory and public investment framework that supports you to grow."

The minster said he would support access to creative subjects in schools, and would also hold the creative industries to a higher standard on issues around access and a diversity.

"We want to blast British culture out of its heartlands of WC1 to every part of our islands," he said.

His speech comes after a number of high-profile designers and architects criticised the government for lack of support.

Speaking at the opening of the London Design Biennale this week, Barber and Osgebry told Dezeen that the government did not value design and was taking the UK back "to the Thatcher years".

Last year, CIF founder John Sorrell warned that creative education was being "marginalised", while designers and architects who attended Dezeen's Brexit design summit this summer described the UK's education system as "f*cked".

Hancock's speech comes as Dezeen finalised a Brexit manifesto for the UK's design sector, which it plans to present to the government.

The manifesto will outline the importance of the sector for the UK and the key issues the government must address to protect its future.

Read an edited transcript of Matt Hancock's speech: