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04 Feb 2020

Trade Minister visits MediaCityUK and praises creative hub of the North

  • The creative industries contributed £101.5 billion to the UK economy in 2017, and the North West is supercharging the sector
  • UK exports of creative services totalled over £32 billion in 2017 up by 21% on the previous year

International Trade Minister Conor Burns MP visited MediaCityUK in Salford, Greater Manchester on Monday (3 February) to see its world-class British film and TV production facilities. The innovative hub is the first purpose-built creative, tech and digital destination of its kind in Europe, and plays a central role in helping to supercharge the UK’s creative sector.

Minister Burns started his day at the BBC, visited the Coronation Street set and saw the UK’s leading television facility dock10. Used by the likes of the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, dock10’s world-class studios are purpose built to handle any size and style of show, from University Challenge to The Voice. Most recently the hub hosted the production of the Netflix show “The Stranger”.

The Minister also hosted a business roundtable with representatives from industries including film, television, animation and publishing, to discuss how Free Trade Agreements with countries including the US, Japan and Australia will help level up the UK, bringing more opportunities for businesses in the region.

Minister of State for International Trade, the Rt Hon Conor Burns MP said:

“I was delighted to see such creative excellence at MediaCityUK today, and the well-deserved global recognition it is getting for producing some of the world’s finest drama, film and documentaries right here in Salford. 

"By taking back control of our own trade policy, we have the freedom to strike cutting-edge trade deals with countries around the world, delivering even more investment, more high-skilled jobs and opportunities for people in every corner of the UK. As we seek to deliver on our ambition of Global Britain the creative industries will play a pivotal role in heralding the UK internationally.  

"On a personal note it was a delight to visit Coronation Street in the year of its 60th anniversary and in the week of its 10,000 episode. It continues to give enjoyment to its many fans - myself included."

The creative sector is one of the UK’s great economic success stories, and the North West is a hotbed for TV and film production. 18 of Creative England’s list of 50 ‘companies of the future’ hail from the Northern Powerhouse – more than anywhere else in the UK. It is also home to the UK’s most active regional production base, with the highest percentage of producers outside the capital hailing from the region. 

MediaCityUK is a joint venture partnership between Peel L&P and Legal and General Capital and Stephen Wild, MediaCityUK Managing Director said:

“MediaCityUK is home to a powerful broadcasting proposition which has been the catalyst in pushing Greater Manchester to the forefront of content creation. As a result, we’ve seen a growth in the supporting creative industries which all serve to retain content creators, production and broadcast talent in the North. 

“Coupled with this, innovation drives economic growth and the presence of 5G at MediaCityUK is a game changer for the businesses, start-ups and tech innovators who are leading the way in exciting advancements which firmly places us on the international map.”

International investment in British creative industries is booming. Latest figures released by the British Film Institute (BFI) demonstrate the UK’s world-class production capabilities. In 2019 the UK attracted over £3.6 billion of inward investment for film and high-end TV productions such as The Crown, His Dark Materials and Outlander.  Major US-based subscription services are using British production capabilities and talent to create internationally successful TV shows.

In March 2018 the creative industries announced a sector deal with the UK government. This sector deal included the formation of an industry-led trade and investment board, with an aim to increase overall exports from the creative industries by 50 per cent by 2023.