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Digital and creative now dominate the economy

  • by JW

“This must have an effect on how Sidmouth can maximise its economy and working from home.”


Today’s Daily Mail looks at how the economy is likely to fare – with some surprising findings:


‘People often forget that the UK’s largest economic sector is digital and creative,’ said Douglas McWilliams, deputy chairman of the CEBR. ‘We have a huge competitive advantage in this tech-based sector which the pandemic has kicked forward.’ …

Britain’s world-beating financial services sector is effectively left to sink or swim under the terms of the new UK-EU trade agreement.

UK economy set to storm ahead of France after Brexit transition | Daily Mail Online

Cebr comment on the provisional Brexit deal – CEBR


As pointed out by a correspondent, it seems, then, that the creative industries are more important to the UK than finance – and government figures (although only from 2018) bear this out.

In total, the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) sectors (excluding tourism) contributed £224.1 billion to the UK in 2018, accounting for 11.7 per cent of the economy as a whole. Headline figures for additional DCMS sectors include:

The Creative Industries contributed £111.7bn to the UK economy in 2018 – up 7.4 per cent from the previous year, meaning growth in the sector is more than five times larger than growth across the economy as a whole.

The Cultural Sector contributed £32.3bn to the UK economy in 2018 – up 2.7 per cent from the previous year.

DCMS Sectors Economic Estimates 2018: GVA – GOV.UK


Whereas in 2018, the financial services sector contributed £132 billion to the UK economy, 6.9% of total economic output. The sector was largest in London, where 49% of the sector’s output was generated:

Financial services: contribution to the UK economy – House of Commons Library


As our correspondent suggests, “this must have an effect on how Sidmouth can maximise its economy and working from home.”



Indeed, the local economy depends on the creative industries – the most recent example showcased here, involving local talent who also work nationally:

Local musicians record festive ‘Elf’ song for Christmas |

But of course, Sidmouth has its festivals:

The Sidmouth Folk Festival – 30th July – 6th August 2021

10 of the UK’s best music festivals for folk, jazz, blues and world fans | Folk music | The Guardian

Town council ‘overwhelmingly positive’ about jazz and blues festival proposal for Sidmouth | sidmouthnubnews

Sidmouth Science Festival | Sidmouth Science Festival

Sidmouth Sea Fest – Sidmouth Coastal Community Hub CIC



WFH is very much coming to the Sid Valley:

Working from home and the new localism – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Working from home: a Sidmouth perspective – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Working from home: reviving town life – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Decentralization and technology-enabled home working – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Although you don’t actually have to WFH, as, just off Sidmouth’s High Street, there’s a place where you can “banish the isolation of working from home, and the distractions it offers – and connect with others”:

The Lighthouse Sidmouth – Sidmouth’s Co-Working Space

New work hub to open in Sidmouth | Sidmouth Herald (updated last month)


Finally, here’s a planned “new covid safe creative space for wellbeing”:


Thanks to nearly £10,000 of funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, Sidmouth Coastal Community Hub plan to make the shed a cosy, welcoming and accessible place to create art and connect with their town’s heritage.

The Fishermen’s Shed Space is being repurposed with integrity and a warm heart, a sense of connection to the coastal environment and fishing heritage; nurturing opportunities to be creative, curious, share stories and traditions and connect with others.

In the space local creative facilitators with community members will explore ideas and experiences through art, digital and creative skills workshops.

Sidmouth Coastal Community Hub – Posts | Facebook