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Economic Value

Thomas Hopkins Gibson in his workshop in Auchinleck (photo: Craft Scotland)

The arts, screen and creative industries make a vital contribution to jobs and the economy

They contribute £billions to the Scottish economy each year and support thousands of jobs across the country.

They help develop talent and skills amongst our people and make a significant contribution to attracting people to work in Scotland, generating revenue in both local and national economies.

Creativity helps to revive our cities as well as smaller places; and it is central to galvanising and reviving communities across regions.

Creativity is also a vital part of the DNA of our nation encouraging people to stay here, to move here, or visit.

Did you know?

The Creative Industries in Scotland contribute £3.7 billion to the economy. This represents a steady increase since 2010. 

In 2015 the Creative Industries employed 73,600 people - a 2.5% increase on 2014 and a 15% increase since 2011.

The Creative Industries is now larger than Life Sciences and sustainable tourism in terms of GVA and employs more people than the Energy sector.

Whilst the majority of jobs in the creative industries are concentrated in the main cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, Dundee and East Dunbartonshire also have higher than average share of Creative Industries jobs.

The Creative Industries sector is dominated by small enterprises with 58% of the 14,590 registered enterprises having zero employees (i.e. are sole traders) and 87% in total have less than five employees.

Over 98% of Creative Industries businesses operating in Scotland are registered in Scotland. 

- Scottish Government Growth Sector Statistics, October 2016

In 2011, 10 million inbound visits to the UK involved engagement with the arts and culture, representing 32 per cent of all visits to the UK and 42 per cent of all inbound tourism-related expenditureThe contribution of the arts and culture to the national economy CEBR, 2013

VisitBritain estimate that Britain’s cultural and heritage attractions generate £4.5 billion worth of spending by inbound visitors.

Useful links


DG Unlimited

DG Unlimited is focussed on maximising the potential of the arts to attract visitors, boost the economy, provide careers and enhance health and wellbeing in Dumfries and Galloway.

Scotland Re:Designed

Scotland Re:Designed provides a platform for Scotland's brightest fashion designers and textile companies to showcase their work to the industry.

Edinburgh Festivals - Thundering Hooves

Edinburgh's festivals are world renowned and are worth in excess of £261m to the Scottish economy.

Under the Skin

Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin starring Scarlett Johannson was shot entirely on location in Scotland for eight weeks during 2011.

Make Works

Established in 2011, Make Works is an independent design company created to link creative professionals to manufacturers and suppliers.

Cultural Enterprise Office

Cultural Enterprise Office support Scotland’s creative businesses through all stages of their business journey.