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Creative Sector

As we enter a new year, we are usually deluged with “future for” lists, shortly after the “best of” lists. Our favourite was Prospect Magazine’s, which listed some big issues facing our clients:


The Return of the Book

A familiar refrain from the creative industries is the negative impact of digital on traditional business models. Prospect argue that, in publishing at least, this change has slowed:


"When Amazon launched its e-book reader, the Kindle, in 2007 the death of the printed book was confidently predicted. But while e-books make up a significant share of the market between 20 and 25 per cent – sales slowed sharply in 2015. The pattern has been repeated in Britain. Waterstones, once under serious threat of closure, has returned to profit…. Overall sales of paperbacks and hardbacks rose 3 per cent in the first half of 2015."



Alzheimer’s Economy

We prefer the term “ageing population”, but this trend will continue to have a huge impact on audiences and on participation in 2016:


"A third of babies born now in Britain will live to be 100. But it will provoke a revolution in society, and we’re only just seeing the start of it."

This was shown in our work on Luminate Scotland’s creative ageing festival.



Growth of the Anglosphere

The list provides a useful reminder of opportunities close to home:


"The World Bank says that both Britain and the US will grow at 2.8 per cent in 2016. As this happens, it is likely that consumer confidence will prick up and the stock markets will boom, both buoyed by cheap resources and commodities. The Brics face a very different outlook. In the aftermath of the 2008 crisis these commodity-rich nations boomed, buoyed up by Chinese demand for raw materials. But China is building and exporting less, and encouraging the development of domestic business and consumption."



Pick-and-mix-Europe

But threatening those opportunities, our potential disengagement from our biggest markets and main ally:


"... some sort of formalization of the relationship between the core (the Eurozone) and the periphery (the rest) is required… It might also offer an answer to the perennial question of what Britain’s role in Europe should be: leadership of the EU’s “outer ring” anyone!"



Bipolar Britain

And in the UK, culture is one of the (less frequently mentioned) pillars of the Northern Powerhouse:


"George Osborne, the Chancellor wants to transform Britain’s economic geography. In this vision of our urban future, the “north-south divide” will be a thing of the past. Britain, or England at any rate, will no longer be a unipolar country, in which London sucks money and talent inexorably southwards – it will be bipolar. Just as towns across the southeast of England have been drawn into London’s orbit, so the satellites of our great northern cities will find the attraction exerted by their larger neighbours hard to resist."


Further reading on the power of our cities to grow is in our UK Cities Culture Report, produced with the Core Cities.

Our view is that these trends only reemphasise the importance of “Opening Out” and looking beyond our usual boundaries to engage with new audiences,develop new models of operating, and establish new partnerships.



Reading list


Five Ideas that the Creative Sector should note for 2016

From "The Return of the Book" to an emergent "Alzheimer Economy"

Jan 3, 2016

Green Cities helping climate change through culture and sustainability

Nov 4, 2021

How are major cities around the world responding to climate change through cultural policies and programmes?

The Green World Cities of Tomorrow: Culture and Sustainability

Paul Owens

Culture and the Climate Emergency

Apr 22, 2021

5 Priorities for World Cities in the post-covid recovery period

Culture and the Climate Emergency

Paul Owens

Culture and the Recovery: Levelling Up Culture?

Dec 4, 2020

Culture can play an important role in recovery and renewal across the UK, if the right local decision-making is put in place

Culture and the Recovery: Levelling Up Culture?

Callum Lee

Central London’s celebrated

Sep 23, 2020

This focused, coordinated set of measures can not only rescue the sector, but position it to lead the recovery

Central London’s celebrated cultural offer is in peril

Jonathan Todd

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #3

Aug 21, 2020

Three big questions as applications close for Arts Council England’s Cultural Recovery Fund

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #3

Paul Owens

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #2

Jul 30, 2020

The UK’s £1.57 billion recovery package: priorities for a New Deal

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #2

Paul Owens

COVID-19: Cities, Culture and the 3 ‘P’s: powers, partnerships, place

Jul 20, 2020

Cities are using their unique capabilities to lead recovery and renewal

COVID-19: Cities, Culture and the 3 ‘P’s: powers, partnerships, place

Paul Owens

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #1

Jul 7, 2020

Investing in recovery, planning for transformation

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #1

Paul Owens

COVID-19 is a triple blow to culture and the creative industries

Jun 30, 2020

Recovery and renewal will depend on how we address the three dimensions of the crisis

COVID-19 is a triple blow to culture and the creative industries

Paul Owens

Take planning and collaboration to whole a new level.

Jun 3, 2020

In the face of radical uncertainty leaders and policy-makers will have to take planning and collaboration to whole a new level

‘Plans are useless, planning is essential’

Paul Owens

Relief, Recovery and Renewal

May 13, 2020

Nobody knows what will happen next, but we have a good idea of the three necessary steps out of the crisis

Relief, Recovery and Renewal: navigating our way to a new kind of future

Paul Owens

The Golden Thread in the 2020s

Dec 20, 2019

A cause for optimism

Weaving the Golden Thread into the 2020s

Paul Owens

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By BOP Consulting

Callum Lee

Managing Director

Callum leads the BOP team, its portfolio and strategic partnerships. His cultural and creative industries expertise is founded on leading analytical research and policy formulation in the UK and internationally.

Callum Lee - Managing Director  | BOP Consulting

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Callum Lee

Callum Lee

Managing Director