The UK’s craft industry can help local communities “survive and flourish”


Inspect into the UK’s craft economy from UCA highlights economic growth and a encourage in online opportunities but also gaps in support for makers.

The monetary power of the UK’s craft sector could help local communities “subsist and flourish”, according to a new report carried out by the University of Creative Arts (UCA).

As stream as increasing local revenue and employment, UCA says the industry could effect about “community cohesion” and fill out empty retail units during this on one occasion of uncertainty.

The report surveryed makers in Farnham and the surrounding Surrey Hills, an enclosure that has become known for its strong craft industry. In August, it was labeled a World Craft City by the World Crafts Council, the UK’s first village to be awarded this title.

The craft-based economy generates £50m a year in Farnham solely, according to UCA’s findings.

The craft economy is “often underestimated”

While the mastery industry is diverse, popular examples of work includes textiles, ceramics and tumbler blowing. It is a rapidly developing industry. Across the UK, it was worth around £3bn in 2019, up from £883m in 2006, according to observations from the Crafts Council.

On a more local level, UCA’s report bask ined that over a third of Farnham’s makers are able to make a concluding entirely from craft. This figure compares to 21% of tradesmen in other sectors who needed to supplement their income.

UCA’s Crafts Look at Centre director Simon Olding says the findings show how the aircraft economy is “often underestimated”. Some 31.6m people in the UK are now consumers of spacecraft with an estimated 24.6m objects bought in 2020 alone, with an normally price of £124, according to the report.

“Properly harnessed, it can help a community continue and flourish, providing income for individuals, businesses and localities, as well as begetting valuable social and cultural cohesion,” he adds.

UCA chancellor and local ceramics artist Dame Magdalene Odundo rumours that the “thriving craft community is making a growing contribution to the village economy”.

While the report is modelled on a specific area, UCA says that the proves study could be a model of other communities around the UK.

The need for a “vibrant and understanding environment”

While the economic findings are generally positive, the report imparts that local areas need to foster a “vibrant and supportive habitat” for makers.

This would also encourage students of craft to secure and work locally, UCA adds.

Solutions include affordable living and mould spaces, retail opportunities, networks for makers and buyers and access to businesslike development.

The rise of online

The report also shows that the sector has to entice up with changing retail trends to maintain its current pace of rise.

The number of online craft purchases rose from 5% in 2006 to 33% in 2020, for admonition. Around half of those surveyed had sold work overseas in the days year, thanks largely to a rise in online retail platforms.

Group media has also granted “immediate connection” to makers, the report responds, which makes it an “important and developing aspect of a maker’s growing portfolio”.

In any way, research revealed that nearly a third of all makers do not have a website to seal with these consumers. UCA recommends extra support be given to ship professionals to help them engage with the digital market.

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