This year is the 25th anniversary of DCMS. We started life as the Department for National Heritage, becoming the Department for Culture, Media & Sport in 1997. Last month we changed our name again.
This change reflects the way our remit has developed. Digital technology is central to our lives. 80% of adults use the Internet every day and 70% are active on social media. So we have rebranded as the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
Digital is enabling new levels of engagement with our nation’s cultural and creative output, opening up collections and live performances previously restricted to metropolitan audiences, by bringing them straight to people’s phones.
Just as digital is helping people access culture in new ways and more widely, so cultural content is driving people towards digital and the adoption of new technologies.
This marriage of world-beating content with cuttingedge technology is not only crucial to our future economy – the UK’s creative industries are now worth a record £84.1 billion – but to our nation’s general well-being.
Culture and creativity have a vital role in social mobility and improving life chances. Time and again we see how nurturing a talent can transform someone’s life. Yet everyone must first be inspired – by a sports match, by a concert, or by a museum exhibition. Digitisation is opening up access on an unprecedented scale. Even the smallest and most remote organisations can market their work to national and international audiences.
As we negotiate the details of our departure from the EU, digital communications and cultural content are vital in showing the world we are open, outward looking and worthy of investment. It is through our cultural output that we show the best of our heritage and of who we are today – and it is via digital that we reach the widest audience. It is only fitting that we are now named the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.