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Creative Industries

This page provides an overview of the Creative Industries in Scotland and highlights some of the funding organisations available to you.

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As of the end of 2016, there were 15,420 companies in Scotland’s creative industries. Between them, they employ 73,600 people. Almost 98% of those businesses are registered in Scotland. That makes the creative industries one of the most important business growth sectors in the country.

The big picture

The Scottish Government understands the importance of the creative industries to Scotland’s economy so well, that Creative Scotland was tasked with developing a specific strategy for their support and development.

The public body supporting the arts, screen and creative industries across Scotland, Creative Scotland helps people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries, by supporting creative businesses as they develop ideas and bring them to life. They also distribute funding from the Scottish Government and The National Lottery.

The Creative Industries strategy for 2016-17 aims to grow sustainable creative businesses through collaboration and partnership working, and to innovate for the wider economy across all areas of business. It also plans to build inclusivity throughout the industries, and increase their international status and profile.

In February 2017, the Government announced a new support initiative – the Creative Industries Advisory Group. Chaired by Scottish film producer Bob Last, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs and the Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, it brings together experts from across the sector. It also includes representatives from Creative Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Working in the creative industries

As a broad definition, the creative industries include any sector that focuses in or around creative output. That includes advertising, animation, architecture and crafts, as well as dance, design, fashion and film. It also covers digital games development, literature, music, photography and publishing, as well as radio, retail, software and app development, television, theatre and the visual arts.

That means the industries offer a huge variety of jobs in both creative and supporting roles and at every career level. We’ve created individual sector profiles for each of them, which you’ll find elsewhere on our website. In those, we attempt to identify key roles, point out skills gaps and help you find out about the opportunities your specific sector holds.

Developing your skills

Each of our creative industries sector profiles provides a broad idea of how to develop your skills, either through formal education or continuous professional development. We’ve included information about training and development programmes available through individual industry bodies, as well as events where you’ll have a chance to learn from — and teach — your peers.

Funding and support

Each of the sectors within the creative industries has its own potential funding sources, but there are others with the more generic purpose of supporting business growth that may also be of use to you.  If you can’t find funding specific to your sector, for example, you may qualify for funding from organisations like Creative Scotland or Scottish Enterprise. Creative Scotland distributes funding from the Scottish Government and the UK National Lottery, and Scottish Enterprise is Scotland’s main economic development agency, working with partners in the public and private sectors to identify and provide opportunities for business development.


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