National freelancers' support centre called for

Freelancers are reinforced as being the “backbone” of the creative industry in a new general election manifesto, put to the political parties to inform their policy ideas ahead of June 8th.

Published this week by the Creative Industries Federation (CIF), the manifesto says that a national centre should be set up to support freelancers, when they are at the “risky stage” of starting out.

Located outside of London, the centre’s brief would be to provide advice on issues such as access to funding and Intellectual Property (IP) protection, the federation says.

Recommendation five in their manifesto is not the only call for the incoming government, of whatever hue, to look beyond the capital when policy-making for creatives.

In fact, existing enterprise zones across the country should be extended to cover the creative industries, to boost its sectors but to also “deliver growth and regeneration across the UK.”

“[With] growth, innovation and job creation emerging beyond London and the South East, the creative industries are…critical to delivering social and economic regeneration”, CIF said.

The “places that need it the most” should be prioritised, the manifesto’s authors believe, but -- somewhat conversely -- areas that “axe or severely reduce” arts funding would be “ineligible” to become a creative enterprise zone.

The manifesto is aimed at helping the next government ensure the cultural and creative sectors can thrive, without their global standing being taken for granted by ministers. The 10-point document also calls to:

· Make the sectors a priority in Brexit negotiations, on issues such as IP

· Create a new and modern visa system responsive to the creative industries’ needs

· Double in the number of creative firms that export

· Set up a Creative Skills Commission. The CIF recently acknowledged the importance of freelancers to help post-Brexit Britain fill the national expertise gap, but the manifesto says practical measures must now be tabled to “defuse the skills time bomb” and fast -- within six months of the commission being established, the manifesto says.

 

27th April 2017

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