Creative Industries Advisory Group minutes: September 2017

Minutes of the meeting of the Creative Industries Advisory Group that took place on 21 September 2017.

Attendees and apologies

Scottish Ministers

  • Fiona Hyslop - Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs (Chair)
  • Paul Wheelhouse - Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy

Creative Industries

  • Bob Last - Film Producer (Co-chair)
  • Brian Coane - The Leith Agency / Institute of Advertising Practitioners Scotland
  • Carol Sinclair - Carol Sinclair Ceramics
  • Chris Hunt - Scotland Re:designed
  • Dougal Perman - Scottish Music Industry Association
  • David Eustace - Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University
  • Colin Anderson - Denki
  • Cameron Fraser - Ko Lik Animated Films
  • Claire Forsyth - Glasgow Print Studio
  • Pamela Tulloch - Scottish Library and Information Council
  • Sarah Cameron - SENSCOT
  • Rachael Brown - Cultural Enterprise Office
  • Jenny Todd - Previously Canongate Books
  • Greg McCracken - Museums and Galleries Scotland
  • *Jack Powell - Creative Industries Federation – joined by telephone

Scottish Government

  • Liz Ditchburn - Director General Economy
  • Jonathan Pryce - Director for Culture, Tourism and Major Events
  • Diane McLafferty - Deputy Director, Culture and Historic Environment
  • Carolyn Rae - Head of Creative Industries, Screen and Media
  • James Muldoon - Head of Entrepreneurship
  • Tom Craig – Entrepreneurship Policy Executive
  • Noel Fojut - Team Leader - Creative Industries and Media Policy
  • Sarah Simpson - Policy Officer (minutes)


  • Clive Gillman - Director of Creative Industries, Creative Scotland
  • David Hartley - Creative Industries and Digital Markets Manager, Scottish Enterprise
  • David Martin - Creative Industries Skills Manager, Skills Development Scotland
  • Iain Hamilton - Creative Industries Manager, Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  • Philip McGuiness - Scottish Funding Council (on behalf of André Reibig)
  • Tom Craig - Scottish Government Policy Officer, Entrepreneurship Team


  • Jane Muirhead - Raise the Roof Productions
  • Mary McAllan - Scottish Government Director for Economic Development
  • Stephanie Cymber - Senior Policy Officer, Creative Industries
  • Polly Purvis – ScotlandIS
  • Alex Smith – XpoNorth
  • Simon Cotton - Johnstons of Elgin
  • Janice Kirkpatrick - Graven
  • Lorna Macaulay - The Harris Tweed Authority
  • Willie Watt - Nicholl Russell Studios / Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland
  • Toby Webster - The Modern Institute
  • Andrew Dobbie – MadeBrave
  • Philip Hannay - Cloch Solicitors
  • Lucy Mason – Arts manager/consultant (formerly National Theatre of Scotland)
  • Joanne Orr - Museums and Galleries

Previous members (replacement to be identified)

  • Ciara Phillips - Artist

Items and actions

1. Welcome and introductions

1.1 The meeting was opened by the Cabinet Secretary. Ms Hyslop gave brief introductions to Paul Wheelhouse (Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy) and to Co-chair, Bob Last.

1.2 The Cabinet Secretary noted the design of the agenda for the meeting, to continue conversations from the previous meeting and to focus on 2 priority topics:

  • Strategic relationship between academia and industry
  • Ensuring effective business support interventions.

1.4 Co-Chair expressed his confidence in the group and suggested that the focus of the group should remain firmly on what can be achieved. He also suggested that this group could act as a forum to discuss and understand the responsibility and capabilities of government.
1.5 Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy’s introductory remarks covered the broader context within which Scotland’s creative industries can and are making a serious contribution to the Scottish Government’s ambition to ensure a prosperous society and thriving economy.

2. Summary of previous meeting and matters arising

2.1 The Cabinet Secretary noted that the Programme for Government includes measures to encourage creativity for all. She affirmed support for the bids of Paisley for 2021 UK City of Culture and Dundee for 2023 European City of Culture. She spoke briefly about work now commenced to develop a culture strategy for Scotland, and encouraged members to participate.

2.2 Members had no further comments to the minutes from the last meeting.


Secretariat noted the need to find a replacement for Ciara Philips, Artist. Recommendations from the group would be welcome.


Secretariat to share the terms of reference as revised after the first meeting. (Paper copies made available, and to be e-mailed to members with this summary.)

3. Relationship between Academia and Industry

3.1 Co-chair introduced this discussion by encouraging members to read and consider the discussion paper, which sketched out the different perspectives of Creative Industries and Academia and explored how these can be brought together. He commented that the core need is to ensure Scotland continues to produce creative thinkers. He also commented that, while the relationship is complex, government has the capability to shift the current landscape to address concerns.

3.2 The Cabinet Secretary confirmed that Government does have the ability to drive attitude change within the Higher Education sector. There are challenges around appetite and capacity for risk taking, and also a need to ensure that detailed funding criteria do not present unnecessary barriers. From her discussions with Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education, John Swinney, Ms Hyslop is confident that Government can further support relationships, and looks to the Group for help in identifying opportunities to change the current landscape to one which offers more mutual support.

3.3 In discussion, the following points were made:

  • R&D issues have been raised across the sector recently and there are developing concerns. Academia R&D tends to be focussed on output rather than outcomes, which makes it hard for the sector to engage because it is more outcome-focussed
  • good practice was noted in the libraries sector: including “maker spaces” where students can create and connect on intellectual property and share ideas. Such spaces support networks and the development of ideas
  • members very strongly of the view that R&D is happening in the sector as well as in universities. Indeed, it was asserted that R&D is the essence of creation within the sector, and a constant in creative industries. It was noted that there were different perspectives between academia and industry as to what constitutes R&D, with the sector focussed on developing creative people and opportunities for them to flourish
  • there was considerable conversation around Intellectual Property (IP) and concerns expressed about the need for creators to maintain ownership of ideas, which was not always recognised by potential collaborators
  • the Interface initiative was praised by those who had contact: it was seen as an interesting model for establishing common ground between universities and industry, producing beneficial conversations without requiring surrender of IP
  • there was a feeling that different sectors could benefit from working more collaboratively to solve problems, with Government concentrating on facilitating connections
  • academic institutions are keen to be involved in sector networks and there was a view that industry and academia should be able to share resources. Research from academia is helpful but academia can often afford to be less risk averse than the sector
  • members agree that, while a strategic approach is needed, it is not possible to reduce the sector to one voice, and that academia is increasingly adapting to the diversity and variety of the sector
  • maintaining talent the Scottish pool is a key issue.. Clear pathways from education into the industry would help ensure that necessary skills are harnessed, but there needs to be a specific focus on how to incentivise the best students to stay and work in Scotland, and also to attract the very best talent to live and work here

3.4 The Cabinet Secretary commented on the discussions so far:

  • maintaining the talent pool/pipeline is a priority.
  • government can help to connect institutions with the sector and Government.
  • HE Institutions are independent, but there is certainly work we can do collectively with key institutions, working with colleagues in other directorates.
  • at school level, Curriculum for Excellence is designed to teach students how to interrogate information and to have agile, inquiring minds – that should feed into HE/FE.

3.4 Discussion moved on to focus upon apprenticeships and readiness for work. The following points were made:

  • it was recognised that current national apprenticeship schemes were not particularly all well-adapted for Creative Industries, due to small size of most businesses, resulting in lower than desirable uptake. On-going work by SDS was welcomed, especially new models such as shared apprenticeships which are being trialled. Members would like to see this work progress and would be interested in hearing more about plans for roll-out. CIAG presents an opportunity for engagement with other groups in enterprise, skills and employment to stimulate and promote change

  • more well-adapted apprenticeship schemes could assist with talent retention post-graduation, that apprenticeships while requiring effort on the part of a business can also in very small businesses be a part of their path to growth

  • many practitioners are sole traders and apprenticeships can be a big challenge. However apprenticeships can be mutually valuable even in micro businesses where‎ the ratio of staff to apprenticeships may be 1 to 1, and new shared apprenticeships which have been piloted recently look promising.

  • undergraduate experiences should not to be disregarded – not all creative industries require degree-level education, and casting the net wider could attract a greater diversity of talent. Alternative apprenticeship schemes should involve a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds, though members agreed that membership of creative industries workforce is already wider in socioeconomic backgrounds already. The question was raised of whether this could be evidenced.

  • employees value hands-on experience amongst candidates for employment. There was a view from he group that students’ expectations are creativity focussed, perhaps unrealistically so, with many entry-level posts requiring an ability to undertake creative but also administration and business tasks.

  • it was suggested that the wider take-up of university education had changed the nature of what universities offer, and that this was a significant shift. University seeks to train students to meet the needs of future employment. The group considered what type of education does the sector require. The sector wants innovators who are passionate about working in the sector - it was suggested that students now see themselves as consumers of a product (education) and not as producers (of ideas).

4. Ensuring effective business support interventions

4.1 Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy offered a brief overview of current work being done in his area and on the topic of ensuring effective business support interventions. The Government is well advanced in a Review of Enterprise and Skills, which was already having beneficial impacts on agencies. The Phase 1 report was published in October 2016, with the Phase 2 report published in June 2017. There is recognition of the need to realign funding and support opportunities and create comprehensive connections between agencies. The ambition of the Review is to create one single digitally enabled system to help signpost businesses to appropriate support and funding options.

4.2 Co-chair commented that the key issues should be about structure and efficiency, and that if these were got right, signposting be less of a requirement for agencies. He felt that the sector had a desire for consistency in support mechanisms.

4.3 Mr Wheelhouse asked if members were aware of what support is currently available. In summary, responses to this question noted general awareness but a feeling that getting intervention at the right timing points remains challenging, both for businesses and agencies. Aspects such as size of business, community and wellbeing, marketing and promotion, culture and tourism should be considered when agencies are advising on support, with a preference for more tailored support over generic schemes.

4.4 The recent announcement of the Government’s plans to create a Scottish National Investment Bank was briefly mentioned, with members expressing interest and willingness to discuss with officials leading this work as part of a proposed consultation exercise.

4.5 Discussion followed, with points made as follows:

  • the core creative skills needs of industry are largely being addressed, but skills gaps remain in management, production, enterprise and innovation. Continual career development is challenging and needs better understood. Creative industries are driven by talent and Scotland generally nurtures its creative talent very well, but tends to struggle with business talent e.g. business support, production and management

  • the Review aims to reform the current system to be more responsive and agile. It will benefit from stronger interaction with all interested groups and by including business voices alongside numerical data and other evidence.

  • the group felt industry would benefit from more information on the funding and support options available. Agencies need to work together better, . It was suggested that the different agencies operate competitively, which is counter-productive.

  • there are specific challenges in the creative industries sector with speed of response on business support needed to seize emerging opportunities.

  • the sector could benefit from improved relationships allowing learning from experiences through tutors and mentors.

  • it was noted that between the two big enterprise agencies, HIE’s model, due to the geography of the organisation and dual remit, seems to provide good support for this sector.

4.6 The Cabinet Secretary commented that these discussions are just the starting point for conversations which would be continued, with investment forming a main theme for discussion at the next meeting.

5. AOB and Date of Next Meeting

5.1 There were no other items of business.

5.2 Co-chair asked Members to reflect on the discussions of the day and requested that members consider their comments for next meeting in relation to transitional investment and sustainability.

5.3 The group will next meet on Wednesday 28 February, from 10-12 am at Scottish Government offices in Victoria Quay, Leith.



Phone: 0131 244 9754

Culture and Historic Environment
Scottish Government
2-H North
Victoria Quay
Leith Docks

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