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UAL forges Creative Unions with leading arts organisations one year after Brexit vote

Published date
23 Jun 2017

UAL has united the heads of the some of the world’s most high-profile creative organisations to reiterate the value of creativity beyond borders.

The Creative Unions campaign – born out of Central Saint Martins, one of UAL’s six world-leading Colleges – coincides with the one year anniversary of the UK’s Brexit vote.

The UK’s creative industries contribute almost £90bn net to GDP, and the campaign is built on the belief that the UK’s future depends on being a place where creative people come together, a place where they can share ideas to shape the world around them and improve lives. The individuals and organisations that join this movement believe in the value of creativity beyond borders, a creativity that can only truly thrive across geographical, social and disciplinary boundaries.

Nigel Carrington, UAL Vice-Chancellor, commented:

“Creative Unions is a way of saying we think it’s absolutely essential that the key values that drive our culture, and indeed our economic progress, are respected, treasured and promoted. It’s imperative that creativity operates across borders. Creativity is one of the UK’s greatest assets and we must continue to nurture and champion it, regardless of the political backdrop.”

Leading luminaries who are backing the campaign include: Sir John Sorrell (The Sorrell Foundation and founder of London Design Festival), Rufus Norris (National Theatre), Frances Morris (TATE), Alistair Spalding (Sadler’s Wells), Amanda Nevill (BFI), Alex Beard (Royal Opera House), Caroline Rush (British Fashion Council), Shane Smith (VICE), John Kampfner (Creative Industries Federation), Tom Banks (Design Week) and Patrick Burgoyne (Creative Review).

Want to get involved?

Come to Central Saint Martins on the 23rd June 2017 to support the launch of the campaign. You can also join the conversation with #CreativeUnions on social, or make your mark and speak your mind by downloading a Creative Unions pack from our website.

See what supporters of the campaign had to say…


Sir John Sorrell, Founder of The Sorrell Foundation and Chairman of UAL: ”Without imagination, without creativity, nothing changes. Nothing gets better. So creative value is central to the world moving on.”

Rufus Norris, Director of The National Theatre: ”Britain has always had a reputation for our creativity, our imagination, our creative industries – a lot of that comes from the fact we have had porous borders.”

Frances Morris, Director of Tate Modern: ”I can’t think of many great artists in the past 100 years whose greatness has not derived from the fact they have transgressed borders.”

Alistair Spalding, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Sadler’s Wells: ”The idea that you can put creativity back in a box of a single country – particularly in dance – just doesn’t make sense.”

Amanda Nevill, CEO of British Film Institute: ”Creativity is the spark within all of us which drives everything forward.”

Alex Beard, CEO of Royal Opera House: ”Creativity is absolutely fundamental to being human.”

Caroline Rush, CEO of British Fashion Council: ”Creativity is absolutely essential – not only to the fashion industry – but to everybody on earth.”

Shane Smith, CEO and Founder of VICE: ”If we try to constrict, rather than open up, we miss out on all the beautiful cultural differences that enrich our lives and challenge us to think differently.”

John Kampfner, CEO of Creative Industries Federation: ”Creativity is on every street corner. It’s Britain’s calling card, it’s what makes our towns and cities so great.”

Tom Banks, Editor of Design Week: ”The more voices you bring to something, the more perspectives you can have.”

Patrick Burgoyne, Editor of Creative Review: ”Creativity is at the heart of any thriving, growing culture. Without new ideas, without renewal of some sort, culture doesn’t move forward.”