Creative Industries Leadership Group minutes: June 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 8 June 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • Brian Coane, The Leith Agency/Institute of Advertising Practitioners Scotland (industry co-chair)
  • Penelope Cooper, Director for Culture and Major Events, Scottish Government (standing in for Mr Gray, Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development and Minister with Special Responsibility from Ukraine)

Creative industries

  • Colin Anderson, Denki
  • Jacqueline Donachie, Artist, Glasgow Sculpture Studios
  • Chris Hunt, Freelance Creative
  • Lorna Macaulay, The Harris Tweed Authority
  • Dougal Perman, Scottish Music Industry Association
  • Lorna Macaulay, The Harris Tweed Authority
  • Carol Sinclair, Carol Sinclair Ceramics
  • Jenny Todd, Former Publisher Canongate Books and Penguin, and Publishing Consultant
  • Pamela Tulloch, Scottish Library and Information Council

Scottish Government

  • Jane Holligan, Scottish Government

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

Items and actions

Introductory remarks

Apologies were noted from Alex Smith, Rachael Brown, Jane Muirhead and Janice Kirkpatrick.

Penelope Cooper, Director of Culture and Major Events, was standing in for Mr Gray, Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development and Minister with special responsibility for Refugees from Ukraine. He had hoped to be at the meeting to talk about his Ministerial response but diary pressures relating to his Ukraine work meant that he was away on Ministerial business in Poland.

The agenda for the meeting was focused on receiving feedback from members on the Ministerial response to the working group reports. The aim was to use this to develop a programme of work for CILG going forward in the next year. Brian Coane thanked the working group chairs for their work. He also thanked the observers for their input.

Freelance members of CILG were reminded to submit their claims for the remuneration of lost time for attending the meeting.

Sarah Cameron had stepped down as a member of CILG. Brian thanked her for her contributions to the group.

The observers had not been invited to the meeting so that a full and frank discussion could be had by members on the Ministerial response to the working group reports.

CILG Working Groups reports and recommendations

The areas of focus in the working group reports were: scale and scope of the creative industries and increasing visibility and increasing value of the sector. It was important for CILG’s workplan to link back to these objectives.

As there was a lot of detail in the reports, it was important to narrow down what CILG will take forward. It was important to focus on the areas where CILG members could collaborate most effectively to make a difference. The group’s endorsement of the direction of that work was important.

Members were asked for their initial comments on the Ministerial response to the working group reports. It was agreed that focussing on a narrower band of priorities would be useful so that members’ time as volunteers was used effectively.  

It was suggested that advocacy was really important. It was agreed reaching out to people beyond the group was important for gaining traction and taking actions forward. Members were asked to bring forward suggestions of people who could be involved and provide expert input. There was also a need to refresh the membership of CILG and bring in people who added value.

Action: members to let Brian and Secretariat know of any suggestions of people or organisations who would be good to involve in taking forward the recommendations and workplan.

It was raised it was difficult for people to know what the creative industries were. It was suggested that writing a short paragraph about what differentiated each sub-sector from another could be useful.

One member raised there were challenges with Ministers and Ministerial portfolios changing more frequently. Previously there had been a consistent Culture Minister which brought benefits to the sector. There was a worry that, if not given its place, culture and creative industries could be easily ignored. CILG had an important job in continually promoting the importance of the creative industries to Ministers. The member was assured that the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and the Minister for Culture recognised the importance of culture and the creative industries not only in their own right but also in assisting other portfolios, for example through collaborative work. There was a significant opportunity to support health and wellbeing and other key priorities. The industry recognised that it also had an important role in promoting the sector to the Scottish Government.

It was noted that the de-valuing of culture was dangerous to the creative industries, society and the national economy. It was asked what the world would look like if all cultural output just stopped. This would be catastrophic for wellbeing; there would be significant material harm across society. One member considered that it was frustrating that CILG needed to keep demonstrating the importance of the sector.

Action: CILG members to consider how to involve Mr Robertson in the work of the group going forward.

Members asked for some further information relating to policies set out in the reports. This included the link to the National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET) and to information on the Minimum Income Guarantee workstreams. A link to NSET was shared in the chat bar.

Action: officials to share a link to information about the Minimum Income Guarantee workstreams with CILG members.

It was asked if dates could be set for achieving the actions asked of government and agencies, as there was a need to keep the momentum going.

There was a need to look at what successful networks did to become successful and to apply this to where there were gaps, for example, in fashion.

There was a need to understand the breadth and depth of the creative industries sector and take the time to communicate its ecosystem and differences. It was essential to pull together information about support agencies’ programmes. This is what the idea of an “audit” in the recommendations was intended to achieve; it was not intended to be a big financial undertaking. The difficulty of the terminology of the word “audit” was noted.

CILG members were asked for their thoughts and suggestions on the membership and agenda of the group. Everyone agreed they were happy with it. A number of potential members were suggested from the creative networks and cross-cultural organisations and the games sector.

The idea was suggested of having well known and eminent spokespeople who could as ambassadors advocate the value of the creative industries.

It was suggested that CILG members should be part of the task and finish groups. The question was asked whether freelance members of CILG would be able to claim remuneration of lost income for being part of the task and finish groups.

Action: officials to consider whether freelance members of CILG should be remunerated for lost income for participation in the task and finish groups.

It was suggested that the group maintains contact with local authorities on advocacy. They should connect with SLAED.

In terms of the task and finish group on value, it was necessary to have experts who could identify how the value of the creative industries could be measured better. A number of potential candidates including economists from the Fraser and Allander Institute were suggested as potential contributors to the value task and finish group. There was also a wealth of economic brain power in the Scottish Government and its agencies.

One member noted that they were interested in being involved in the value task and finish group. It was suggested that the work of the Future Economy Company was relevant to the group. Another member was interested in both the advocacy and the value work.

The creative industries framework agreement would be reviewed and updated. CILG members would be asked for their views on it.

It was noted that a lot of the public sector support available involved considerable work to draft a lengthy application. One member felt this put up barriers for people from diverse backgrounds applying. The Universal Basic Income pilot in Ireland was considered as an example of using creative practitioners as a start and test group to address economic barriers. It was suggested that a light touch application process for funding provided by public bodies would be welcomed. It was, however, acknowledged this would be difficult to implement as public bodies were audited.

It was commented that the models of XpoNorth and Screen Scotland where the network acted as an intermediary between businesses and public sector agencies worked effectively. One member asked if there had been a business case put forward for Screen Scotland. A link to the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee’s inquiry into how the Screen Sector Leadership Group’s report recommendations on strengthening and developing the Scottish screen sector can be implemented was posted in the chat bar. Other good examples were considered to be the Games Fund and the work of the Scottish Library and Information Council which acted as an intermediary and identified funds that were relevant to the sector. An “audit” would identify where there was good practice and where there were gaps.

One member felt there was no one bridging the gap between the commercial end of the creative industries and the creative/public benefit end. There was a key area in the middle. There were good examples but no cohesion across the creative industries so advocacy was needed.

Summary of discussions

Members were content with the summary of discussions of the meeting of 16 March 2022. In terms of actions, the XpoNorth model had been circulated. Further actions were ongoing.

Brian thanked members for their comments, the working groups and Scottish Government officials, and noted that these would be taken away to develop a work plan. Members were asked to let Brian know if they were interested in volunteering to be part of the task and finish groups. They were also asked to suggest ideas of potential new members for CILG. [N.B. these suggestions will be for ideas only as membership to CILG is by Ministerial appointment].


  • members to let Brian know if they would like to be part of the task and finish groups
  • members to provide Brian with suggestions of potential new members of CILG
  • Penelope Cooper to meet with individual CILG members
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