A New Year Update from our new CEO, Caroline Norbury 

January 09, 2020

Caroline Norbury portrait

I am delighted to be writing to you in my new capacity as Chief Executive of both the Creative Industries Federation and Creative England. It has been a pleasure working with Alan Bishop and the Federation team for the latter part of last year. We have all worked hard to bring the two organisations together, ensuring we are working in the best possible way to champion and support our world-leading creative industries.

For those that may not know me, I established Creative England in 2011 with my founding chairman John Newbigin, who many of you will know as one of the key architects behind the government’s recognition of the creative industries as a significant sector. Creative England was formed by bringing together seven regional screen agencies, so I do understand something about the road ahead as Creative England and the Federation join together into a new organisation.

For the last three months of 2019, we asked you to feed into our consultation about what our joined-up organisation should look like, what its priorities should be, and where we can make the greatest and most useful impact. We were really thrilled by the volume and positivity of the responses, and will be sharing and incorporating these findings into our work in the coming months.

As the new government begins to roll out its plans and the UK seeks to forge a new role in the world, our priority will be to ensure the creative industries are positioned front and centre of government policy. We all know the value the sector brings – economically, socially, culturally and diplomatically - however, we need to take that narrative out of our own bubble and into the rest of the country. We need FTSE 100 companies outside our sector to be advocates of the importance of a creative education alongside our own advocates across arts, culture and the wider creative industries. We want to support local public services in realising the value of funding culture as one of the ways we can bring communities together through shared experiences and participation. The people who craft our stories, shape their distribution, create opportunities to play and interact, design our spaces, products and places, and create moments of joy and happiness, are among those most critical to the future of the UK. 

We must never stop shouting about the power of our arts, culture and creativity to build a more cohesive and tolerant society. Central to this is ensuring that the stories we tell, the experiences we create, products we make and the services we design reflect the lived experience of people from all parts of the UK. That is why our first priority will be to build our membership across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to make sure all voices are driving our advocacy. 

We believe that while creative, talented people can be found everywhere, the opportunities that they need in order to succeed cannot. This means that we must work to establish the right circumstances that will enable creative organisations and individuals from all backgrounds to thrive. Our creative sector is an international beacon and we must ensure we harness our reputation for excellence as the UK begins to chart its new direction. We look forward to building that future for our industry with you in this new decade.

I look forward to seeing you at a Creative England or Creative Industries Federation event soon.

Caroline Norbury




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