London's creative industries critical to economic prosperity

16 October 2012

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has today hailed 2012 an 'annus mirabilis' for creative talent in the capital. Following a 'summer like no other', when London hosted an unprecedented festival showcasing to the world-class artists and creative talent to a global audience, the city's creative sector has been out in force this autumn with London Fashion Week, the London Design Festival and, now underway, the 56th BFI London Film Festival.

This year the Mayor has invested more than £2.3 million in the British Fashion Council, Film London and the London Design Festival to help boost creative talent and attract inward investment. City Hall is also hosting an exhibition as part of the London Games Festival later this month. The Mayor believes that the inventiveness and entrepreneurialism of the creative industries are critical to London's prosperity, creating jobs and attracting investment, as well as underlining the capital's reputation as an exciting and desirable place to visit and do business in.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'When people think of London, invariably it is about the breadth and depth of our city's unrivalled creativity. From the gowns and the glamour of fashion, to cutting edge design and some of the brightest and best people working in film, London is home to astonishingly talented people whose inventiveness, drive and entrepreneurialism contribute to a sector that brings in around £20 billion and employs 386,000 people.

'This year has been an annus mirabilis for London and our creative industries have had a key role to play in that success. This is a sector, which has a critical role to play in our city's economic success and I will do everything I can as Mayor to ensure the conditions are in place to enable it to thrive.'

London is home to some of best and most influential designers, advertisers, film production specialists, games programmers and animators, artists, musicians and writers. These are part of the capital's second largest sector, which is worth around £20 billion per year.

London Fashion Week, which took place in September, is estimated to generate orders of over £100m each season. The most recent is widely regarded as one of the best for years – still inventive, but also saleable. The London Design Festival generated around £5.7 million in related sales in 2011 and can now claim to have the world's biggest audience for design – around 350,000 attended this year's event, which featured 300 events and almost 1,000 designers, companies and retailers.

With the 56th BFI London Film Festival in full swing, British film talent both in front of and behind the camera is now in the spotlight. The UK film industry contributes over £4.6 billion to UK GDP, with approximately 75 per cent of the film industry based in London and studios just outside the capital, which generates spending of around £3.45 billion. On any given day there is an average of 35 film crews on London's streets and it is a sector that is growing - the film industry in and around London supports almost 90,000 jobs up 15,000 on 2009 figures.

Also underway is the London Games Festival. City Hall is hosting an exhibition of rare and never seen before artwork as a showcase for one of the UK’s most cutting edge and fastest growing sectors. The UK's digital economy is clustered in London, with the Games industry valued at close to £3 billion in 2011. 


Notes to editors


  1. The Mayor of London with Film London is supporting the Centrepiece Gala at the 56th BFI London Film Festival on Tuesday 16 October. This year's film is Hyde Park on the Hudson directed by Roger Michell. For more information about the festival go to
  2. This summer the Mayor published the World Cities Culture Report 2012, the biggest international survey of its kind, which collects an unprecedented amount of data on the scope and impact of the cultural assets and activities that are produced and consumed in 12 major cities: Berlin, Istanbul, Johannesburg, London, Mumbai, New York, Paris, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo. Using 60 indicators and reports from each of the participating cities, the report shows that culture is seen as important as finance and trade and sits at the heart of public policy. For more information go to
  3. The Games Art Exhibition is at City Hall and runs from Monday 22 October to Friday 26 October. Opening times: 9am – 6pm. Entry is free.