Success of creative industries is good news for jobs growth in the capital

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Photo: Loreanto ┃Shutterstock.com

The creative industries are growing at twice the rate of the wider UK economy and that’s very good news for London which is the heartland of the sector.

Latest government figures show that the UK’s creative industries grew by 8.9% in 2014, the strongest performance of any sector. They are now worth £84.1 billion a year to the economy.

The creative industries were defined by the government at the start of the century as those based upon individual creativity, skill and talent that have the potential to create jobs and wealth through the exploitation of intellectual property.

If that all sounds a bit technical it boils down to things like the music, film, TV, video games, visual arts and the fashion industry. It also includes architecture, craft and design companies. But the biggest part is IT, software and computer services.

There were 1.8 million jobs in the creative industries in the UK in 2014, when they were last counted, and most of them were in London. The last few years has also seen a substantial rate of growth in the East and West Midlands, the South West and the North East.

creative industries

The creative industries account for 11.8% of the jobs in the London economy, a much higher proportion than any other regions.  So, the continued success of this sector is particularly vital for the capital.

Source data

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How London’s choice of nightlife compares to other cities

dancing-2London is rightly famous for vibrant nightlife but if you want a bar scene Rio’s the place for you, and if you want to shake something then head to Shanghai.

A serious-minded report on the impact of economic growth on culture and the creative industries has thrown up some interesting facts about how London compares with other cities.

It appears that while people in London may like a drink, that’s as nothing compared to the bar scene of some Latin capitals. Madrid has twice the number of drinking establishments of either London or New York. Rio has more than twice the number of Madrid. But the figures really stand out when you look at the number of bars per 100,000 of the population.

Bars per 100k

Our capital does a little better when it comes to restaurants. London has similar number as New York but fewer than Paris. But if you want some choice in eating out then Toyko is then place for you. The Japanese capital has 150,510 restaurants. That’s equivalent to 1 for every 100 people. Depending on the size of the eating places it seems that a fair proportion of Tokyo’s residents could go out to dinner one night.

Restaurants

There’s a bigger clubbing scene is in London than Berlin, but if you’ve got your dancing shoes on then point them to Shanghai which has twice the number of clubs and dance halls as LA.

Clubs

 

London appears to be falling down when it comes to live music. With 245 venues London trails behind New York. The data for London on this is from 2011 and recent reports suggest more venues closing.  Australia emerges in the figures as the place to see live bands and singers. Sydney may be a smaller city but it has nearly matched New York for venues, and Melbourne out performs them all.

Live muisc

The French emerge in the data as the most avid cinema-goers with 30% more cinema admissions in Paris than London. It has more cinema screens too, nearly matching Los Angeles, the home of Hollywood.

cinema

Data sources

World Cities Culture Forum 2015 report

See also

Economic growth carries risk for culture and creativity, says report

Why the Mayor thinks busking should be music to our ears

London losing its thirst for binge drinking

Why the Mayor thinks busking should be music to our ears

2015-07-18 14.19.56-1-2For some, busking is a noisy nuisance that obstructs the pavements. For others it is an essential part of the vibrancy of London. The Mayor and the GLA are on a mission to increase busking but some boroughs seem unconvinced and it remains a contentious issue open to local rules and by-laws.

City Hall’s promotion of busking steps up a gear throughout the next few weeks with the Busk in London festival until August 8th. It kicked off on Saturday 18th July, which was National Busking Day, if you didn’t know. In the coming weeks a large number of performers will showcase their talents in high profile locations like Trafalgar Square.

But away from festival time the rules on busking and its public acceptability are complex. London has a number of ‘official’ busking pitches, though the GLA dislikes using the term official as it points out that busking is legal on any public land in the UK.

The GLA told Urbs that there are currently 70 established pitches which include 39 in the London Underground, 14 on the Southbank, 11 around Covent Garden, 4 in Hillingdon Town Centre, 1 at One New Change Shopping Centre near St Paul’s and 1 at the O2 Centre on Finchley Road.


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For buskers the problems centre on knowing when a location is on public land and whether their act is causing an obstruction or a noise nuisance, when a number of different laws may be used to move them on.

The GLA has tried to combat this by producing a Buskers’ Code to help potential performers choose a pitch and build up a good relationship with local people.

So far just 6 of the 33 boroughs have signed up – Westminster, Islington, Southwark, Hounslow, Kingston and Redbridge.

Camden, known for its music venues, has sought to restrict busking by introducing a license scheme and £1,000 fines for anyone caught busking without one.

Busking is not allowed at all in the City of London. The Corporation sites the Police & Factories (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1916 as the reason why.

The GLA says it is hopes to sign up more boroughs to its code soon and is talking to Network Rail about pitches at the big main railway stations.

It estimates that about 1,000 buskers are regularly performing in London. TfL says that performers at its 39 marked pitches at 25 Tube stations provide 100,000 hours of music for commuters each year.

If the Mayor, Boris Johnson, has his way their be more music and street theatre. In launching the code of conduct and his annual Gigs busking competition for under 25s he said: ”’Busking adds to the capital’s joie de vivre, but in spite of its popularity, buskers have sometimes encountered problems when plying their trade.”

The GLA estimates that music tourism generates £600 million for the London economy each year and that live performances enhance public spaces. And if City Hall gets its way you’ll be seeing a lot more of it.