Business secretary Vince Cable has pledged to offer greater support to the creative industries, acknowledging that it “doesn’t get the attention or the recognition it deserves” within government.
Speaking to Screen’s sister publication Broadcast during a tour of the Northern Ireland film and TV industries, the co-chair of the Creative Industries’ Council, said he was trying to identify the areas in which the government has a role to play, whether through training initiatives or access to funding.
Cable also responded to criticism that the creative industry is often ignored when it comes to major overseas trade missions.
Cable has upcoming trade visits to Russia, India and China. In an interview with Screen, the secretary said: “We’re trying to make sure the creative industries are properly represented on those visits. There are a lot of export opportunities.”
The secretary for business, skills and innovation said he was “pretty certain” that there would be a film representative on the delegations he will be leading.
Chancellor George Osbourne is leading a trade mission to China in coming months but despite the country becoming a growing importer of UK content, according to Broadcast no TV representatives have currently been invited to participate.
The Treasury could not immediately confirm whether a film representative is on board.
Cable was in Northern Ireland to visit the local film and TV industries and discuss opportunities and barriers to business growth and entrepreneurship.
Cable said he was impressed with the expanding Titanic Studios, home of Game of Thrones: “I hadn’t previously appreciated the sophistication and scale of the operation”.
Cable avoided sitting on the iconic but inauspicious Game of Thrones throne: “I avoided sitting on the throne in light of the previous incumbent getting his head cut off,” he said.
The secretary added that he had seen “odd bits of the series” on DVD (he isn’t a Sky subscriber) and would now go back and watch it in earnest.
Cable cited Homeland, Match of the Day, Strictly Come Dancing and The White Queen as among his favourite TV shows.