The economy of the West Midlands has received a massive contribution from the creative industry, gambling and sport in one year only. According to figures released by the Government earlier in August, the aforementioned industries, which are known collectively as “DCMS sectors” accounted for 6.8% of the overall economy in the region in 2016.
The industries, which include the cultural sector, the digital sector, the creative industries, gambling, sport and telecommunications, contributed a total of £8.6 billion to the West Midlands economy. The civil society and tourism sectors are excluded from the statistics.
According to the information revealed by the authorities, the digital sector accounts for the majority of the total amount brought to the economy of the West Midlands, as it has brought £5.6 billion to the region. The sector includes computer programming, manufacturing and wholesale of computers, software publishing, consultancy and related activities. An overall amount of £3.2 billion has been contributed to the local economy by the creative industries, while telecommunication brought £1.7 billion.
The gambling industry also accounted for a large chunk of the contributions brought to the West Midlands with an overall of £1.1 billion, while the cultural sector brought a little more than £700 million. The chunk of the West Midlands economy which sports accounted for amounted to £618 million.
The overall amount brought by the above-mentioned industries is larger than the total amount brought to the region by DCMS, mostly because of the fact that there is often a large overlap between the different sectors.
DCMS Sectors’ Contribution Rises in 2016
According to the information released by Government’s officials, the contribution made by the aforementioned sectors to the economy of the West Midlands rose in 2016 in comparison to one made in 2015.
In 2015, DCMS sectors brought almost £8.2 billion to the region, which accounted for 6.7% of the region’s economy.
As far as the bigger picture is concerned, UK DCMS sectors made up an overall amount estimated at £167 billion to the country in 2016. This accounted for nearly 10% of the total. Over one-third of that amount came from London alone, while the South East part of the country accounted for approximately one-fifth.
On the other hand, these industries account for a large part of both regions’ economy. A total of 15.8% was brought to the total London economy by the DCMS sectors, while the South East region got a contribution amounting to 12.5% of its entire economy. In fact, all regions registered an increase in the amount brought by so-called DCMS sectors to their economies in the period 2015-2016. The only exception from the trend was the North East part of the country.
As mentioned above, gambling was one of the major contributors, with a massive amount being made up by the controversial fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs). However, the UK Government revealed its intention to cut the maximum stake allowed on the machines from £100 to £2 – a step which the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) warned could be devastating for the sector. According to gambling operators’ representatives, the reduction would not only hurt the gambling companies’ profits, but also the tax revenue which is brought to the country by the machines.
The British Government, on the other hand, was blamed by some anti-gambling campaigners for its “addiction” with gambling tax revenue and faced harsh criticism for the potential delay of the FOBT crackdown until 2020.