The value of the creative industries

As a whole, the creative industries are worth £101.5 billion to the UK economy, generate £20 billion in exports, employ over 2 million people directly and are growing twice as fast as any other sector of the UK’s economy.

The audio-visual sector – film and television – is a key contributor to this success:

  • The top 20 UK box office films earned £732 million in 2017, accounting for 54% of total box office earnings.
  • In 2017 spend on film production in the UK reached the highest level on record at £1.9bn, a 12% increase on 2016, according to the British Film Institute.
  • Last year’s three biggest grossing films in the UK – Star Wars: Last Jedi, Beauty and the Beast and Dunkirk were all shot in the UK and helped generate a box office take of £210.5 million.
  • The UK film industry employs more than 80,000 people, with 68% working in film and video production.
  • The UK-made Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) remains the highest performing film, earning $1.951 billion worldwide.

The creative industries, together with our technology businesses and service sectors, plus many others, are all underpinned by intellectual capital, making the UK one of only three countries in the world to be a net exporter of intellectual property (IP). This helps our economy grow, creates jobs, attracts investments from overseas and makes a substantial contribution to the UK’s cultural heritage, helping to project the UK’s cultural appeal to audiences around the world.