The value of the creative industries

As a whole, the creative industries are worth £116 billion to the UK GVN/economy, employ over 2.1 million people directly and pre-pandemic were growing  at 3 times the national average.

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

  • The top 20 UK box office films earned £441 million in 2021, accounting for 73% of total box office earnings.
  • In 2021, spend on film production in the UK reached the highest level on record at £5.64bn, £1.27bn higher than the previous peak reported in 2019, according to the British Film Institute.
  • UK qualifying films released in 2021 took £247.4 million at the UK and ROI box office, 161% up on 2020’s total of £114.5 million. 
  • In 2020, around 86,000 people worked in the UK film industry, of whom 66,000 worked in film and video production 
  • No Time To Die was the top grossing UK qualifying film and also the highest earning film of the year in 2021, earning a total of £96.6 million at the box office, making it the third highest grossing UK and Republic of Ireland film of all time 

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.


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