Creative Industry leaders have say on post-Brexit issues in Norwich
Amid talks of trade deals and tariffs the region's creative businesses are concerned the sector could be the first to be hit and left out of negotiations.
Creative leaders came together at Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) to share their fears and understand the issues.
The sector - which includes jobs as diverse as game designers, theatre troupes, graphic artists and advertisers – is keen to make sure its voice is heard when it comes to negotiating the UK's exit from the European Union.
And the East has good reason to want to protect its share of the UK's £81.4bn creative sector - with a recent report from innovation charity Nesta showing Norwich, Cambridge and Colchester as creative business hubs.
In Norwich, they made up 7.2% of the city's firms and 3% of employment, while in Colchester, the figures were 8.8% and 5.7% respectively. In Cambridge, 10.7% of the city's firms are in the creative sector, and 4.7% of its workers.
Sarah Steed, NUA business director, said some concerns from businesses had included the free movement of people for touring acts, export tariffs for digital companies and the loss of EU subsidies for the arts.
She said: 'The phone has already stopped ringing for a lot of people because businesses are changing their priorities. The creative industries are usually the first to be hit in a recession. People cut back on their spending on advertising and they are not looking to grow and innovate which is where we come in.'
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The Creative Industries Federation (CIF) spoke to businesses at the Ideas Factory yesterday.
Louise Jury, CIF director of communications and strategy, said the fragmented nature of the industry meant it was often forgotten.
She said: 'Creative industries are what the UK is known for around the world and are very important for tourism.
'We need to be part of the serious Brexit negotiations.'
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