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Craft confirmed as a creative industry by DCMS

Posted on in Creative News

ActSmart news

The Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) have confirmed that it "clearly sees craft as a creative industry, and is not intending to reclassify craft as non-creative".

The statement is a welcome step for the craft industry, with the DCMS explaining that "The consultation is not intended to pass judgment on which industries are creative and which are not. What can be measured in the DCMS Creative Industries Economic Estimates should not be confused with what are recognised as Creative Industries by DCMS."

This clarification comes after DCMS said it had chosen to remove the category of ‘crafts' as a recognised creative industry as part of a paper for classifying and measuring the creative industries despite the fact that the craft sector in the UK brings in an estimated £457 million in revenue every year.

Many craft associations and businesses including the Crafts Council, the Heritage Crafts Association and the Associated Parliamentary Design and Innovation Group disputed this move which they believed would make the allocation of funding and support for craft businesses more difficult.

DCMS claims that the omission of crafts as a recognised creative industry will have no impact on funding and admit that the revenue generated by craftsmen and women is important to the UK economy. However, in reclassifying crafts the concern that many makers and organisations has is that the craft industry will cease to be seen as an important and robust industry, and that it is a boon to the UK economy and worthy of recognition.

The reasoning behind the DCMS' decision is "Most crafts businesses are too small to identify in business survey data, so while there has been a crafts section in the former classification, we've not been able to provide GVA [gross value added] data. We recognise that high-end craft occupations contain a creative element, but the view is that in the main, that these roles are more concerned with the manufacturing process, rather than the creative process."

The decision to include areas such as marketing, sales and public relations instead has proved a controversial one, and resulted in supporters of the crafts industry resort to setting up an online petition with over 27,000 signatures so far.

As this e-petition has received more than 10 000 signatures, the relevant Government department have provided the following response:

"When we measure the value of the creative industries, we have to use official statistics - namely the industrial and occupational codes used by the Office of National Statistics. These codes are agreed internationally, and they have never adequately reflected the contribution of crafts. For example, the ONS recently reclassified silversmiths as "other skilled trades", making it even harder to identify specific crafts. Most craft occupations are subsumed within occupational and industrial codes which are mainly non-creative.

In the consultation, therefore, we have asked people to make suggestions about how we identify crafts, so that we can make representations both to the Office of National Statistics, and in international fora, to ensure that crafts are appropriately identified and measured. We of course welcome consultation responses which propose robust technical solutions for how Crafts, as well as other creative sectors badly served by the official codes, might be better teased out from the official data sources and using the existing codes."

Further clarification is provided here.

This e-petition remains open to signatures and will be considered for debate by the Backbench Business Committee should it pass the 100 000 signature threshold.

Sign the petition


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