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New government figures show design forms a substantial part of the UK economy

New government figures show design forms a substantial part of the UK economy

26 January 2016 Written by By Stephen Miller Research and Evaluation Manager 2015-18

The latest government figures show design and the creative industries continue to grow.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) today published a new set of creative industries economic estimates, which focuses on the contribution of the Creative Industries (such as design, music and film) to the UK economy up to 2014. It shows that the creative industries, and design in particular, have grown strongly over the past few years and continue to form a substantial part of the UK economy.

These latest estimates are focused on the wide range of the UK’s creative industries – music, publishing, TV – of which design forms a key part. View the full report here.  

Key findings

The gross value added (GVA) of the Creative Industries

  • GVA of the Creative Industries was £84.1bn in 2014 and accounted for 5.2 per cent of the UK economy.
  • For four years running the Creative Industries have grown as a proportion of the total UK GVA.
  • GVA of the Creative Industries increased by 8.9 per cent between 2013 and 2014. This compares to 4.6 per cent growth for the whole of the UK.
  • Between 1997 and 2014, GVA of the Creative Industries increased by 6.0 per cent each year compared to 4.3 per cent for the UK economy

Gross Value Added of design

  • The GVA of "design: product, graphic and fashion design" group was valued at £3.2bn in 2014
  • The design group accounted for 3.8% of the Creative Industries total GVA in 2014
  • This group had the largest increase in GVA between 2013 and 2014 (16.6 per cent). It has shown the largest compound annual growth rate over the period, growing at an average of 9.7 per cent each per-year.

How does this relate to our Design Economy research?

DCMS have used the same data sources but a different definition of design, using just one Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code (‘product, graphic and fashion’). The Design Economy, our 2015 report on the value of design to the UK economy,  applies a broader definition of design, to include 10 SIC codes, such as architecture and the built environment, crafts, and digital, among others. As a result, we found nearly one third of the roles in the design economy are outside of the creative industries. 

What next?

The most recent estimates for employment (2014) and export of services (2013) were published in June 2015. They will be updated later in 2016.

DCMS are also currently consulting on changes to their methodology, including increasing coverage of microbusinesses and measuring the export of goods (in addition to just services). 

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