Creative industries worth £3.7 billion to Scotland

A street performer on the Royal Mile during the 2016 Edinburgh festivals. Picture: Steven Scott Tyalor/JP Resell

A street performer on the Royal Mile during the 2016 Edinburgh festivals. Picture: Steven Scott Tyalor/JP Resell

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The creative industries in Scotland comprises more than 15,000 registered enterprises and employs some 73,600 people, official figures have revealed.

As the Edinburgh festival looks forward to its 70th birthday in August, industry experts will meet with Scottish Government officials next week to discuss how to continue the sector’s expansion and ensure it receives the support it needs.

Already identified as one of the nation’s six key growth sectors, the creative industries contribute £3.7 billion to the economy annually, with employment up 15 per cent since 2011.

It was revealed in December the value of film and television production to Scotland has almost doubled in the space of four years - to more than £50 million for the first time.

Filming on the American TV series Outlander is thought to be largely responsible for the surge since it started shooting in the autumn of 2013.

A three-month shoot across Edinburgh on the sequel to Trainspotting also boosted the value of film and television productions to the capital to its highest level since records began 26 years ago.

The creative industries advisory group is tasked with ensuring support in place to ensure growth can continue across the board.

Co-chaired by culture secretary Fiona Hyslop and film producer Bob Last, the group will meet twice a year and will also include observers from Creative Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Minister for business and innovation Paul Wheelhouse will also be part of the group.

The group includes industry voices from the 16 sub-sectors of the creative industries such as architecture, visual art, crafts, music, fashion and textiles, performing arts and film production.

“Scotland has a creative sector that is dynamic, diverse and key to our economic growth – one that we are rightfully proud of,” Hyslop said.

“But in order to ensure growth, develop its ingenuity and nurture our talent we want to hear directly from industry experts what targeted support is needed to achieve a more strategic approach to take our creative industries to the next level.

“This advisory group will support more collaborative working by enabling the diverse range of businesses and entrepreneurs across the creative industries to engage with each other and with Government to discuss and advise on high-level issues of relevance to the whole sector.

“I look forward to hearing directly about the successes, issues and priorities the sector is experiencing so we can collectively take a strategic view on how to further support the creative industries sector as a whole.”

Co-chairman Bob Last has played a key role in the Scottish arts scene since establishing the seminal independent record label Fast Product in 1977 - releasing the first singles by the likes of Gang of Four and the Human League - before going to enjoy a career in film.

“I’m very pleased the Scottish Government is continuing its engagement with the creative sector and look forward to exploring common ground across the rich diversity of the group,” Last said.

“This group provides a valuable opportunity to have a focused dialogue directly with government.”

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