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UK sees hub's potential in boosting PH creative economy

August 18, 2019 - Sunday 8:08 AM by PNA

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MANILA-- A creative hub does not only bring soul and character in one's community but its potential to boost a nation's creative economy is also vast.

Creative hubs-- such as design studios, co-working spaces, maker spaces, fab labs, and art collectives-- are organizations that provide space and support for product development within the creative and cultural sectors

During the Creative Hubs Unite gathering over the weekend, United Kingdom Ambassador to Manila Daniel Pruce said these spaces can be catalysts for inclusive creative economic growth in the Philippines as it did in Great Britain.

"Creative hubs are integral to the sustainability and the growth of the creative economy. They are focused on people and they build communities that contribute to better and more innovative, more inclusive cities," he said.

But according to a recent global research study conducted by the British Council, creative hubs are often under-supported and under-appreciated by institutions and stakeholders.

In the Philippines, the UK sees the need for the stakeholders, particularly the government, to foster a conducive environment for these spaces to thrive and engage with private organizations and the hubs themselves.

"They can be consulting with more hubs and other creative industry players to put up or create more relevant policies that would really help artists or creative enterprises," Malaya del Rosario, British Council Philippines head of Arts and Creative Industries, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

"It's not about establishing more creative hubs but helping them become more sustainable and helping them achieve the impact that they want," she added.

Malaya said the government's support in empowering creative hubs is essential as these spaces do not often make a good profit.

"It's important that we support them. Some of them are businesses, they want to be profitable, some of them can't be profitable all the time. The government should be able to help them through tax incentives, or giving them grants, and helping connect them with partners that can help them scale their work," she said.

Earlier, the Philippine government has declared culture, and more specifically, the creative economy, as a priority sector for development.

The Department of Tourism has revealed that a government-led "creative economy hub" will rise in Manila and will branch out nationwide.

On Tuesday, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat expressed optimism on the hub's contribution to the creative sector.

In the UK alone, the creative industry is the fastest-growing sector, employing at least 3.2 million workers and is valued at USD122 billion.

In the Philippines, the sector currently employs almost six million workers. It also makes up USD12.5 billion or 7.34 percent of the country's GDP from copyright-based industries such as design, literature, music, theatre, film, media, photography, software, visual arts, and advertising services. (PNA)