Following last Thursday’s referendum decision for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, we, the Guild, are now faced with the challenge to respond and ensure the continued development of our sector, regardless of whether we welcomed the decision or not.

It is the belief of the Creative Industries Federation, an organisation which we, the Guild, are about to join, that the majority of its existing members thought withdrawal would be detrimental and as a result are working harder than ever to secure a post-EU deal that will help our sector continue to thrive.

The Guild Court met this week to discuss the implications of withdrawal from the EU and, whilst disappointed in the referendum result, our decision is to respond head on to the challenges that lie ahead and focus on the work already begun to develop relationships with both our EU and non-EU partners, through continued and growing collaboration with the Universities and our colleagues in UNESCO Creative Cities, and also by using UKTI as a vehicle to present our expertise in new markets.

Furthermore, we will seek to capitalise on the strong recognition already gained for the cultural sector and creative industries at every level, from the City of York, across the region and the nation, and we will continue to press the case, backed by hard evidence, for our social, cultural and economic impact to be recognised and supported, come what may.

Finally, to quote Ed Vaizey, who wrote recently in the London Evening Standard that the arts are ‘naturally outward-looking, collaborative and internationalist. What they say matters’, we are keen to remind our members that the cultural and creative sector has a proven capacity to help quell dissent and resolve conflict, which is why working together as a sector, and as a Guild will be more, not less, important over the next months and years. This is something we hope you, as our members, will continue to help us achieve.

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Chris Bailey, Master of the Guild of Media Arts