Tories: Britain will lead world creative

The Conservative Party has pledged to make Britain the "creative industries' capital of the world" if it wins the next general election.

Senior Tories believe they can out-flank Labour by adopting a more radical strategy than was set out in the Communications Minister Lord Carter's report on Digital Britain in January.

The Tories argue that to capitalise on Britain's skills in digital content, the nation needs a home market that can distribute it.

An incoming Tory Government would force BT to open up its underground telecoms ducts to other operators so a majority of homes can enjoy high-speed broadband within five years.

Tory sources believe the challenge for the ad industry's best brains will be to find ingenious new ways to reach consumers online.

Jeremy Hunt, the Shadow Culture Secretary, said: "TV, radio and print advertising are all having a tough time right now because of the advertising recession. If they are to remain competitive, they need a home market that embraces new approaches such as embedded internet advertising in both high-speed and mobile connections."

The Tories want the creative industries to play an enhanced role to help make up for a smaller financial sector after the recession. One Tory source said: "Just as London beat off the competition to become the leading financial centre, we believe Britain can become the creative industries' capital of the world."

A review of the creative industries, announced by David Cameron in January, will be launched next month. Its proposals will shape the Tories' election manifesto.