Edinburgh crowned Scotland's one and only creative hotspot

EDINBURGH has been named one of the UK's leading "creative hotspots" thanks to the number of people working in the arts, architecture, advertising, marketing, computer games design and the media.

The city was the only part of Scotland recognised for having a major "cluster" of creative industries in one location. Other hotspots outside London recognised in the first ever map of British creativity include Bath, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge and Manchester.

It is hoped that Edinburgh's inclusion will help to generate interest in the capital from potential investors and boost the status of leading firms.

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A website set up during the mapping research is so detailed it allows users to zoom into individual districts and streets to see which creatives have set up tent in a particular area.

It is thought as many as 22,000 people are employed in various creative sectors in Edinburgh - almost half the total number in Scotland - with publishing, arts and architecture making up more than 80 per cent.

Researchers at the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (Nesta) joined forces with Birmingham and Cardiff universities to carry out the study, which was based on Office of National Statistics figures.

Nesta head of policy and research Stian Westlake, said: "This mapping shows the centres of excellence we have across the country.

"With the right policy interventions, these creative clusters have the potential to become global hubs for high-growth, innovative creative industries and create wider economic growth."

City leaders launched a campaign to promote Edinburgh as a leading destination for creative industries earlier this year. It is hoped that by highlighting the quality of life, world-leading events and the strength of the city's economy will help sectors to grow, persuade companies to relocate to the city and lure talent from abroad.

Tom Buchanan, economic development leader at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: "As the sector is dominated by small businesses, it is also our 'hidden' sector and does not get the recognition it deserves.

"This is despite it employing 22,000 people and being home to world-leading companies in their fields, such as RockStar North in gaming and Canongate Books in publishing."

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Kenneth Wardrop, chief executive of the Destination Edinburgh Marketing Alliance, which is responsible for promoting the capital as a business location, said: "It's great to hear that Edinburgh is once again being recognised as a centre of creativity and innovation.

"Be it design, the games industry, advertising or our world- class festivals, this city is packed with talent doing inspirational things on a global level."

• For more information, visit: www.nesta.org.uk