Creative Industries Leadership Group minutes: December 2021

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 8 December 2021.

Attendees and apologies


  • Brian Coane – The Leith Agency / Institute of Advertising Practitioners Scotland (industry co-chair)

Creative industries

  • Colin Anderson, Denki
  • Rachael Brown, Cultural Enterprise Office
  • Sara Cameron, Senscot
  • Jacqueline Donachie, artist, Glasgow Sculpture Studios
  • David Eustace, Creative Consultant
  • Chris Hunt, Freelance Creative
  • Janice Kirkpatrick, Graven
  • Lorna Macaulay, The Harris Tweed Authority
  • Dougal Perman, Scottish Music Industry Association
  • Carol Sinclair, Carol Sinclair Ceramics
  • Alex Smith, XpoNorth
  • Pamela Tulloch, Scottish Library and Information Council

Guest speakers

  • Marlen Komorowski, Creative Cardiff
  • Sara Pepper, Creative Cardiff


  • Jayne Ashley, South of Scotland Enterprise
  • Jessica Armstrong, Scottish Funding Council
  • Clive Gillman, Creative Scotland
  • Iain Hamilton, Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  • David Martin, Skills Development Scotland
  • Derek McCrindle, Scottish Enterprise
  • Andre Reibig, Scottish Funding Council

Scottish Government

  • Hazel Parkinson, Scottish Government
  • Heather Holmes, Scottish Government
  • Susan McColl, Scottish Government
  • India Divers, Scottish Government


  • David Smith, Screen Scotland
  • Jane Muirhead, Raise the Roof Productions
  • Jenny Todd, Former Publisher Canongate Books and Penguin, and Publishing Consultant

Items and actions

Introductory remarks

Brian Coane thanked everyone for attending the meeting and members, observers and the secretariat for their work. The agenda included an update from the working groups and a presentation from Creative Cardiff.

Brian drew members’ attention to the Graduate Career Advantage Scheme in the Update Paper. The deadline for the scheme was 31 July 2022.

Brian asked members to suggest topics that the group should focus on beyond the March 2022 meeting. Richard Scott and Cam Fraser had stepped down from the group. Brian asked members to consider potential new members who would bring a different perspective to the group.

Action: Members to share ideas for future topics and potential new members with BC or secretariat.

Brian informed the group that freelance members could now claim remuneration for loss of earnings for the quarterly Creative Industries Leadership Group (CILG) meetings.

Action: Secretariat to share details with the group of how freelance members can claim remuneration for loss of earnings.

Apologies were noted from Jane Muirhead, Jenny Todd and David Smith, Screen Scotland.

Summary of discussions from previous meeting and matters arising

Members had no comments on the published summary of the previous meeting or the specific actions.

It was noted that the update paper did not include an update from the Scottish National Investment Bank. As it had publications relevant to the creative industries and work being undertaken by CILG, it was requested that an update be included in future papers, focused specifically on links to the creative industries.

Action: Secretariat to share relevant updates, including publications, from the Scottish National Investment Bank with CILG members via the update paper.

The terminology of the creative industries and the arts in government papers on the creative industries was seen as confused. There was a need to join up the creative industries and the creative economy, with priority sectors needing to be represented in CILG.

The National Advisory Council for Women and Girls (NACWG) report noted that it had found that women who worked as freelance artists earned on average of £13,000, as compared to £18,000, the average for men; they were more likely to work part-time. There was a need to make sure that the value of creative industries professionals was better understood, including paying at least minimum wage.

CILG working groups

Carol Sinclair provided the update from the skills working group. Carol considered that there was a great need for advocacy work so that people understood what the creative industries were, their value and ecosystem. This included articulating the characteristics and value of the creative ecosystem – such as the project-based nature of creative businesses. 

The group considered there might not be a need for new schemes, but for the existing schemes to work better for the career paths in the creative industries – to ensure people got a foothold.

It was noted there had been lots of reports on the creative industries in the last 20 years but not much had changed and it was often misunderstood. There was a need for simple storytelling by the sector itself to articulate what the creative industries were, the diversity, richness and complexity. It had a store of information the sector could go back to: how could the sector expect others to articulate what it was about when it did not do this itself?

One member considered other sectors were also ‘project-based’, but the creative industries combined this approach with risk in securing revenue. From a commercial perspective, producers wanted to expand and contract to reduce risk. The capital risk from the business was then passed to the freelancer. There was a need to look at the entire risk profile – and for creative businesses to be remunerated for risk.

Skills development support varied among subsectors - it was necessary to look at the interdisciplinary nature of the sub-sectors and to view the sector as a whole.

A published report from the Freelance Foundation noted that risk was the direct cause for so few working class women artists to progress through the career ladder. It was noted that seeking employment was not a critical part of many artists’ career development or creative development. Advocacy work with MSPs on what the creative industries were needed to be stepped up. 

Action: Group to look at their role in advocating to MSPs about what the creative industries are.

The skills working group would make their recommendations in the next meeting in March. There was a sense that the wider CILG group endorsed the track they were on. They gave a last call for members to send them best practice examples.

Action: Members of CILG to send best practice examples of skills to the skills working group.

Dougal Perman presented an update from the resilience working group. Having interviewed a range of public sector organisations and non-government people, themes emerging were around valuing and supporting people individually; without people there were no businesses or creative industries.

Dougal noted issues around freelancers had been well highlighted by CILG and the remuneration of lost income for freelance CILG members attending meetings showed a recognition of the role of the freelance workforce.

The support mechanisms that worked in one place would not necessarily work everywhere. XpoNorth worked well in the Highlands and Islands; it was an excellent model which could be replicated in other places, but would need to be tailored to the individual needs of a region.

It was asked whether the models of Creative Edinburgh and Creative Dundee could be replicated in every big town, tailored to individual needs and to spheres of interest. It was considered whether Screen Scotland’s model could be replicated for other sub-sectors such as music, fashion and textiles and architecture.

CILG could do more to promote the importance of CILG as an industry leadership group. Similarly, there was a need for more leadership training in the sector.

There was a discussion around the value of the creative industries over lockdown – including that videogames and other digital programming could be seen as an essential service. People had missed the impact the creative industries can have on their quality of life. It was discussed that collating these examples of impact on a person’s life might support CILG in telling a story.

It was considered that the CILG could provide more leadership and decision-making. One member of the group expressed that a smaller membership might make the group more productive, creative, and able to work with Government.

One member asked if the resilience working group had plans to meet with the private sector to get a different perspective. The group was considering this.

Action: Members of CILG were asked to contact Dougal if they wanted to provide evidence to the working group.

Creative Cardiff: joining the dots

 Brian thanked Sara Pepper and Marlen Komorowski from Creative Cardiff for taking the time to speak to the group. Sara provided an overview to Creative Cardiff and her background. Creative Cardiff had recognised the importance of the creative networks to the economy. It mapped and rigorously interrogated the networks across the UK in order to provide evidence of their value, impact and contribution.

Marlen presented the findings from the Creative Cardiff report, Joining the Dots: understanding the value generation of creative networks.

The research mapped 22 creative networks in the UK; it streamlined and created a common narrative around how people talked about creative networks and the creative industries. The research used the quadruple helix model to group the four major players – government, academia, civil society and industry – in order to understand the relationship and value created between them and the role of the creative network. It found that the economic value of creative networks was only one part of a complex value system that embraced a range of economic, cultural and societal values. There was a need to consider other elements such as knowledge exchange and place-making.

Due to the nature of the creative industries being project driven, small/micro-businesses and having a large number of freelancers, many lacked capacity to do the networking and collaboration jobs so the creative networks filled this gap.

The research had four recommendations around the need to understand networks and support, the links and opportunities between networks themselves, to engage network members and understand barriers to engagement with networks, and to support the wider research and understanding of the value of networks.

Policy could add value by providing a longer term contribution to making networks sustainable. Networks often acted as a middle-man to connect creatives to funding sources.

In discussion from members, it was noted that Glasgow, one of the largest centres of the creative industries in the UK, was not featured in the report. It had been important for driving and creating policy in architecture and design and had a creative network that went back 250 years. People were attracted to places because of their night time, visitor and creative economies as well as their social values.

It was raised that creative networks should be run by creative people and there was a distrust around top-down networks. Networks should not be put in geographical boxes: the virtual world had changed the goalposts. Creative Cardiff noted that many networks were co-produced by members of the creative community. One member noted that there could be a risk in funding networks as it might divert money away from practitioners towards bureaucracy. One member considered that the report omitted to refer to inspiration.

It was important to note that networks did not just exist in cities. There were examples of non-urban ones, including XpoNorth. 


It was raised that Culture Counts was proposing and establishing two new cross-party groups in the Scottish Parliament. These focused on (1) Creative Economy and (2) Culture and Community. A link to further information had been circulated to the group.

It was requested that the meeting papers be circulated at an early a date as possible.

The next meeting was in March with Ms Gilruth, Minister for Culture. The working groups would present their recommendations at this meeting.

Brian thanked everyone for their contributions.

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