creative europe uk impact report 2021

Impact report on Creative Europe in the UK: 100 million euros supported UK projects

An end of programme impact report has been published detailing support provided to UK projects by Creative Europe 2014-20, as the European initiative concluded its seven-year programme on 31 December 2020:

UPDATE MARCH 2021: The final amount of  €111 million of Creative Europe funding was awarded to the UK, and as these case studies and testimonies show the benefits and impacts reached far beyond financial ones. 

We have published a series of reports highlighting Creative Europe's impacts in the four nations of the UK, to supplement our UK-wide report, and these illustrate how Culture and MEDIA funding benefitted all of the UK from 2014-20.

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Creative Europe’s MEDIA and Culture subprogrammes supported European projects with the potential to travel and reach new audiences, build partnerships and collaboration between professionals in different member states, and share skills. 

The European Union support programme began in 2014, as a successor to two previous programmes: MEDIA, which started in 1991; and the Culture Programme, which started in 2000. 

The Impact of Creative Europe in the UK 2014-20, an independent report published today by SQW with Creative Europe Desk UK, reveals the value delivered by the programme, which built skills and confidence among the creative, cultural and audiovisual sectors through its funding, network-building and training schemes. Creative Europe supported jobs and talent, and improved financial sustainability for beneficiaries. It also brought people from different countries and specialisms together, building sustained networks and partnerships, and enhancing knowledge of new audiences and international markets in ways that would not otherwise have been possible. Involvement in Creative Europe also proved to be a gateway for businesses working globally.

Many of the companies involved reported positive financial and business impacts including being more competitive in Europe (86%), achieving higher turnover (77%), being more profitable (63%) and being more financially resilient (76%) than would otherwise be the case.

These impacts are in addition to over €100 million of support to the UK’s cultural, creative and audiovisual sectors.

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Key impacts include:

  • Between 2014 and 2019, Creative Europe invested €203 million to support 609 projects involving UK companies and organisations. €68 million of this was directly received by these UK-based beneficiaries.
  • A further €32 million supported the release of 196 UK films via 240 European distributors from 2014-2019.
  • The total value of support to the UK’s creative, cultural and audiovisual sectors over the period was over €100 million.
  • Over half of the UK projects and organisations funded were from outside London, with active projects from across all four nations of the UK.
  • Creative Europe MEDIA-supported UK films generated 80 million admissions across Europe and revenues of just over €575 million (not including UK revenues).
  • UK cultural organisations worked on collaborative projects with 1,086 partners in 37 of the 40 Creative Europe participating countries.
  • 43% of projects had a UK partner in the Culture sub-programme’s key funding strand Cooperation Projects, demonstrating the value of the UK to cross-border collaboration.
  • The UK was the third most successful country in terms of number of funded Culture projects between 2014-19.

The report also draws on results from a survey sent to hundreds of beneficiaries in the UK to analyse the benefits of the programme on key business areas, including finances, creativity and innovation. The results show how the programme’s funding has delivered beneficial outcomes and impacts across knowledge, skills and capacity building for individual creative practitioners as well as UK arts, culture and screen organisations. 

Headline survey responses include:

  • 91% of respondents thought that the ability to draw upon international experience was important for their skills and knowledge.
  • 90% of respondents had innovated and experimented within their funded project.
  • 88% said they would have been unable to unlock the skills and knowledge they accessed without Creative Europe.
  • 86% reported being more financially competitive in Europe over the medium term, and 77% reported achieving higher turnover. 
  • 73% reported an increased appetite for working in the rest of the world, and 60% reported an increased appetite for working in Europe.
  • 71% reported reaching larger audiences in the UK through their involvement in Creative Europe.
  • 67% of respondents reached larger audiences internationally through their involvement in Creative Europe.

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In total from 2014-2020, €1.46 billion was made available by Creative Europe to support European cultural, creative and audiovisual projects with the potential to travel, reach new audiences and encourage skills sharing and development.

While the UK is not seeking to participate in the EU’s future Creative Europe programme, due to launch in spring 2021, existing projects will continue to receive funding until completion. It is expected that UK professionals will continue to be able to participate in a number of MEDIA training courses, and in some future Culture funding calls as Third Country ‘associate partners’ until 2027, alongside countries such as Canada and Japan.

The Impact of Creative Europe in the UK 2014-20 report was undertaken by independent research agency SQW for Creative Europe Desk UK.

Links to the full reports and resources:

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Image credits: Edinburgh Filmhouse, part of Europa Cinemas, image by Chris Scott; C-dARE, Centre for Dance Research Coventry University, supported by 2020 Cooperation Projects; Quest Quest: The Quest for Quests game by Italic Pig, Support for Development of European Video Games in 2020.