The Creative Industries in Scotland
The creative industries are industries that have their origin in individual creativity, imagination, and curiosity and are where creative motivation provides the basis for living, working or studying.
By producing new insights, products, services, and experiences, they have the capacity to generate cultural, social and economic value.
The Scottish Government's definition of the sector includes visual and performing arts, cultural education, crafts, textiles, fashion, photography, music, writing and publishing, advertising, libraries, archives, antiques, architecture, design, film and video, TV and radio, software and electronic publishing, and computer games.
Economic, social and cultural contribution
The creative industries make an important contribution economically, socially and culturally to Scotland and internationally. It is one of the fastest growing sectors in Scotland, with its contribution to the economy (GVA) having grown 62% between 2008 and 2017.
The creative industries are estimated to support around £9 billion of activity within the wider Scottish economy and contribute around £5.5 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 4% of total Scottish GDP.
Being one of Scottish Government's seven growth sectors, it is a sector where we have many strengths, including a strong international reach and impact. The skills and business models of the sector are varied and are judged by many experts to be of increasing importance: combining technical and creative skills, collaborative working across and beyond the sector, entrepreneurialism, social enterprise, and revenue generation.
With an increasing understanding of the role of creativity in health and wellbeing, creative businesses also play an important role in building resilient communities and social transformations.
Strengths of the creative industries
The creative sector in Scotland draws on a range of assets such as our rich and varied culture, exemplary creative education, the natural environment, our heritage and entrepreneurial and creative people.
A strong identity, authenticity, tradition, distinct languages such as Gaelic and Scots, and a spirit of innovation contribute to their success. Taking advantage of Scotland's scale and strong connections, successful creative businesses are innovative, resourceful, agile, and open.
This is demonstrated, for example, among our International Festivals in Edinburgh; the games cluster in Dundee; the design, architecture, music, textiles and film and television sectors in Glasgow; the textiles sector in the South of Scotland; and the craft, music and textiles sectors in the Highlands and Islands, and the digital tech sector across the whole of the country.
Scotland also has three cities in the UNESCO creative cities network: Edinburgh City of Literature, Dundee City of Design, and Glasgow City of Music, and the Outer Hebrides has been designated World Craft City status.
Public sector support for the creative industries
The Scottish Government and our public sector partners support the sector by advocating, championing, investing, and brokering relationships within the sector and with wider industry.
We want to ensure that public sector support is used in a strategic way, achieving the best long term outcomes, and that creative businesses have the right advice, networks and opportunities to realise their full potential.