Animation and the Economy


  • “Growth of almost ten per cent in 2013, three times that of wider UK economy

  • Accounted for 1.7 million jobs in 2013, 5.6 per cent of UK jobs

  • 2015 set to be another bumper year for UK creative output

New figures published today reveal that the UK’s Creative Industries, which includes the film, television and music industries, are now worth £76.9 billion per year to the UK economy. This massive contribution is an all-time high and equates to £8.8m per hour, or £146,000 every single minute, playing a key role in the Government’s long-term economic plan.”


This shows the size of the industry and its important role that it plays on the British Economy – it is the largest and employs 1 in 12 UK jobs. The creative industry is still improving – which is excellent news for when I go into this industry. It also shows how the industry that I want to go into is a major contributer to our economy. 

-Creative industry in the uk

    • Gross Value Added (GVA) for 2012-13 increased by 9.9 per cent – more than three times that of the UK economy as a whole, and higher than any other industry.
    • GVA of the Creative Industries was £76.9bn in 2013 and accounted for 5.0 per cent of the UK Economy. For the fourth year running, the Creative Industries proportion of total UK GVA was higher than the year before, and is now at a record high.
    • The Creative Industries accounted for 1.71m jobs in 2013, 5.6 per cent of total UK jobs; and a 1.4 per cent increase on 2012.
    • The value of services exported by the Creative Industries was £17.3bn in 2012, 8.8 per cent of total UK service exports.
    • Between 2011 and 2012 the value of service exports from the Creative Industries increased by 11.3 per cent. This compares with an increase of 2.8 per cent for total UK service exports.


Above are more statistics that I gathered on the creative industry and its contribution to our economy. It shows positive reports on the creative industry improving.

Job Roles

Animation market

“The UK animation industry employs nearly 5,000 people and generates about £300m in revenues every year. UK companies produce animated content for:

  • television
  • feature films
  • commercials
  • websites
  • mobile phones
  • computer games.”


Other than above I have created a spider diagram of other areas which 2D and 3D animation can apply too. I wanted to look at a variety of things to learn the different pathways which I could look into for this project and maybe as a career path way.



Working in animation can mean working extra and unsocial hours especially close to the deadline.- however it means you can have a job in a career you actually really enjoy.  The starting salary for an animator in the UK usually starts around £12,000 – £20,000 a year and this can vary. With experience this could increase to £25,000 – £30,000 or even more a year. Bonuses can also be given at an end of a project depending on where you work. The amount of money that freelancers are paid in this industry is hard to determine – as they decide on their own price range for the work that they supply. As a freelancer you have the opportunity to work at home. Working for company would see you in a studio / office.

“Skills for job

  • illustration
  • graphic design
  • computer programming
  • model making or sculpture
  • rigging
  • storyboard
  • 3D design
  • maths or physics
  • multimedia design.


  • Flash
  • Maya
  • 3D Studio Max
  • Motionbuilder
  • Lightwave 3D
  • After Effects.”


How to get into it

There are many ways that you can get into the animation industry – such as becoming a runner for an animation studio and slowly working up their pipeline before becoming an animator. However there is no guarantee to the length of time which you would spend as a runner before you move onto another area of animation. You don’t need any qualifications for this job, a lot of the typical runners are graduates. You move up the ladder to jobs such as storyboard assistant, digital painter, inbeteweener and assistant animator..

“Around 3,000 people work in animation in the UK. About 300 companies are involved in animation, including small production companies, larger studios, CG post-production facility houses, computer games developers and interactive media designers. The main centres are London, Bristol, Manchester and Dundee. Although there are some permanent jobs in animation, many animators work on a freelance or contract basis.”

The animation industry is 49 percent self employed and 15 percent part time – therefore animators must learn to freelance and look for work after one job is finished. The animation industry is alive through major cities in England and so means more opportunities in working there (especially if you live away from the capital city- there are other jobs which are on offer.)

“The animation industry in London is a fairly tight-knit scene, consisting of many well-connected firms like Aardman Animations and community groups like the London Animation Club, which meets in rather clandestine locations so that attending a meeting is like playing a game of espionage. Other London-based animation studios include Chapman Entertainment, Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, The Moving Picture Company, Cosgrove Hall Fitzpatrick, Studio AKA, Seed Animation, Blue Zoo, BE Animation, Cake Studio, Unanico Group, Klacto Animations, Ashley Baker Davies Ltd., Picasso Pictures, Trunk Animation, Red Star Studio and many more. And of course let’s not forget the BBC.”,1

There is an array of animation studios in London which meet up and give animators the chance to network and apply for a chance to work with them.

Amount of freelancers 

1 2

(Image source – BFI


(Diagram source:

Above are the several diagrams outlining the state of the animation industry currently – it shows how animation currently employs only 36% into full time, 15% in part time and 49% in self employment. Animation jobs tend not to take on permanent staff and instead use freelancers – animators which will stay at a company for a couple of months to years before leaving the job. Its a difficult industrial (however thanks to tab breaks – it could see a rise in employment as more work is being given tot he country.) A large percentage are self employed – therefore understand how they survive is a crucial understanding in my research.


  • The uk are exported minded – experts in trading and exporting out work throughout the world we understand because of the experience that the UK has gained over many years. It is able to use strategies.
  • Trends- The UK are trend setters for many.
  • Top Universities – top educations which are recognsied as some of the best in the world.
  • market for creativity – we worked this market for a long time and know how to work it.
  • innovation nation – well known for leading innovative ideas and projects which will progress technology forward in the right direction.

Future of creative future

Cultural Importance of Animation in the UK

For children growing up, animated programmes are apart of our culture, Mr Ben, BagPuss, Thomas the Tank engine, The Clangers, Postman Pat and so many more are a vital part of what creates out country’s identities. Without knowing it these animations live in the hearts of the children which watch them and being able to relate to the culture is especially important. Without a strong animation industry in the UK then we could loose a very important children’s programme industry – animations being imported from abroad. It is less likely that animation will reflect out culture here without that animation industry. The UK is well known for its ore-school storytelling – even as far as japan and china.


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