Creative Industries Leadership Group minutes: March 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 16 March 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • Neil Gray, Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development with special responsibility for Refugees from Ukraine
  • Brian Coane, The Leith Agency / Institute of Advertising Practitioners Scotland (industry co-chair)

Creative Industries

  • Colin Anderson, Denki
  • Rachael Brown, Cultural Enterprise Office
  • Sarah Cameron, Senscot
  • Jacqueline Donachie, Artist, Glasgow Sculpture Studios
  • Chris Hunt, Freelance Creative
  • Janice Kirkpatrick, Graven
  • Lorna Macaulay, The Harris Tweed Authority
  • Jane Muirhead, Raise the Roof Productions
  • Dougal Perman, Scottish Music Industry Association
  • Carol Sinclair, Carol Sinclair Ceramics
  • Alex Smith, XpoNorth
  • Jenny Todd, Former Publisher Canongate Books and Penguin, and Publishing Consultant
  • Pamela Tulloch, Scottish Library and Information Council


  • Jayne Ashley, South of Scotland Enterprise
  • Jessica Armstrong, Scottish Funding Council
  • Helena Ward, Creative Scotland
  • Iain Hamilton, Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  • Aileen Lamb, Scottish Enterprise
  • Steven Little, Screen Scotland
  • David Martin, Skills Development Scotland
  • Sallyann Tindall, Scottish Enterprise
  • Andre Reibig, Scottish Funding Council

Scottish Government

  • Jane Holligan, Scottish Government
  • Stephen O’Neil, Scottish Government
  • Hazel Parkinson, Scottish Government
  • Heather Holmes, Scottish Government
  • Lucy Simpson, Scottish Government
  • Susan McColl, Scottish Government
  • India Divers, Scottish Government

Items and actions

Agenda item 1 – introductory remarks

Brian Coane welcomed the Minister for Culture, Mr Gray, to his first Creative Industries Leadership Group (CILG) meeting.

The agenda for the meeting was to discuss the working group reports and to have a follow up discussion from Creative Cardiff’s presentation at the last meeting. Brian wanted to hear from everyone in the group on the working group reports so would be using a traffic light approach. Red was for if the member did not support the recommendation, amber was for if it needed further development, and green was to show support.

Brian reminded freelance members to submit their claims for remuneration for their time attending the meeting if they would like to do so.

There were no apologies for the meeting.

Since the last meeting David Eustace had stepped down. Brian thanked David for all his work on the group.

Mr Gray was pleased to join his first CILG meeting as Ministerial co-chair. He noted it was a significant meeting as the working groups were presenting their recommendations for endorsement of the CILG group. Mr Gray thanked Brian for his leadership, members for their contribution, and the chairs of the working group for their work. Mr Gray provided an overview of his Ministerial role, his origins in Orkney, his former career in journalism, and his background in fair work and social justice.

Mr Gray noted the importance of skills and resilience to the creative industries sector, as well as the impact of the pandemic on the creative industries. He acknowledged the work of the group was important for economic recovery and wellbeing recovery. He would consider the working groups’ recommendations and provide comments on them for the meeting in June.

Agenda item 2 - summary of discussions from previous meeting and matters arising

Brian asked group members for any questions or comments on the note from the last meeting and the update report.

The secretariat was thanked for organising an update on the Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB). It was requested that activity around the creative industries should be flagged, including if no activity to note.

Action: Secretariat to provide information of SNIB activity related to the creative industries in the next update paper.

Agenda item 3 - CILG working groups’ reports and recommendations

Brian thanked working group chairs, Carol Sinclair and Dougal Perman for all their work.

Carol presented the highlights from the skills working group draft report. The working group considered that it was necessary to look at CILG’s role in advocacy and what resources would be required for the group to take on this role. Another recommendation was to audit the activities being offered by the relevant public sector agencies and identify where the nuances of the creative industries were not reflected in these activities. Life-long learning was another priority. There was a need to address issues on the creative education in schools to ensure a pipeline of talent.

Carol asked the group for their thoughts on the recommendations. The members congratulated her and the working group for the work put into the draft report. Overall, the members endorsed the recommendations. No member used red in the traffic light system to signify lack of support.

Some areas of further development were raised. One member suggested that Glasgow could be represented more strongly as people located to Glasgow because of its culture. The future success of the creative industries was in the collaboration between the public and private sector. There was a need to join the dots, for example between craft and manufacturing. It was important to tell the economic story.

Another member noted that it was important for the recommendations to be progressed and there was a need to consider how to action them. Mr Gray reassured the member that he was listening and the recommendations would not be lost. He would ensure what was in the draft report and what was said in the discussion would be reflected in his response so that a discussion in June can take place around deliverable next steps.

There was potential to link Scotland’s Year of Stories to the advocacy recommendation as it was about a need to capture stories of the creative industries and share them. One member felt the audit was a very good idea but needed further scoping out.

Mr Gray thanked Carol and the working group for their draft paper. He was pleased with the response it had received.

Dougal presented the resilience working group’s draft report. One of the themes in the report was around the significant impact of language and moving away from seeing funding as “support” to “investment”. Another theme was the concept of how the creative industries were valued and how creative workers valued themselves. He asked the members for feedback.

Mr Gray thanked Dougal for the resilience working group’s draft report. He viewed the creative industries as an important part of the wellbeing economy.

CILG members endorsed the resilience working group’s draft report. There were no red lights. Some areas for development were raised. One member raised the importance of collecting data to evidence both the economic impact and the social impact of the creative industries. They also felt the recommendation on specialist departments in government agencies needed to be developed to understand how it might work and what it might achieve on the ground.

Another member felt changing the language of “freelancer” to “entrepreneur” or “microbusiness” could also have an impact, as the former was sometimes used as a derogative term. It was suggested that the reports should assess which recommendations would be easy to achieve in the short-term and they should be prioritised.

On the collection of data, one member noted that this collection activity could sometimes act as a diversion from getting on with the work.

Brian noted that it looked like the recommendations had headed in the right direction. He reflected on his experience of being part of the resilience working group, noting that it was a positive process that resulted in a lot of informative conversations. It was important to keep the dialogue and connections going.

Action: Officials to facilitate CILG members to maintain the dialogue and connections formed through the working group research.

Agenda item 4 – discussion on creative networks in Scotland

Mr Gray introduced the discussion, which followed the Joining the Dots research project discussion on creative networks at the last meeting. He asked members to consider what the relevance of the report was to Scotland and if the findings were applicable. He asked members to consider the report in the context of Covid-19 and how creative networks could support cultural recovery.

It was raised that many networks were funded by public funds. Creative networks funded by Skills Development Scotland were highlighted in the chat bar. There were gaps in creative networks for the economic sub-sectors of the creative industries such as games, architecture and design. A greater dialogue between these sub-sectors and the public sector would be welcomed. The work of Jim McDonald at the University of Strathclyde on the certification of diamonds in the jewellery industry was referenced. It was important for these sub-sectors to have a creative network to ensure national conversations through an economic lens were taking place.

Action: Officials to consider how to facilitate discussions between the economic sub-sectors of the creative industries and Government.

Another member noted that the games sector had experienced challenges in establishing a focussed network. The Joining the Dots report presented the quadruple helix model (which recognises four major actors in creative networks: Government, Academia, Industry, Civil Society) but it was considered that in the context of the games sector, there was a gap for a creative network that brought together engineering, audience, creation and technology to create meaningful outcomes relevant to wider society. Scottish Enterprise commented in the chat bar they would be interested to understand if any positives came out of previous attempts to build a network and what could help make a network work for interactive media. Skills Development Scotland were interested in being part of this conversation too.

Action: SG, Scottish Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland to set up a conversation with the member regarding networks for interactive media.

The importance of networks in giving the creative industries sector a voice to impact policy was noted. It was important to recognise how creative networks contributed to the community wealth building agenda. Mr Gray acknowledged the importance of making sure networks spoke to wider Scottish Government priorities.

It was noted there was not currently a strategic approach about how to improve networks to achieve the biggest impact.

Action: Officials to facilitate a dialogue with CILG members considering what they want networks to achieve and how best to target efforts to improve them.

XpoNorth had adopted a strategic network model which involved supporting micro clusters to create scale. There was some really insightful data they could share.

Action: XpoNorth model to be shared with CILG members.

It was noted creative networks were not consistent across geographies because they had grown organically. The difficulties of funding a network from a membership fee were raised. The energy to make multiple funding applications to sustain a network was significant because the pots of money available were small.

Brian thanked Mr Gray for his contribution to the meeting. Mr Gray left the meeting.

Agenda item 5 - AOB and date of next meeting

Brian thanked the observers for attending. He requested that they share any reports they were aware of that covered what had been discussed.

The next CILG meeting was in June. The group will have the Minister’s response by this meeting.

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