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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

The subsidised arts sector is highly regarded both in Scotland and across the world. It is hugely influential in supporting creative industries and tourism, which together employ nearly 300,000 people. It provides a fulcrum for Scotland’s wider creative industries growth, which contributed £4.6 billion to the economy in 2015, up 23.6% from 2014.

The arts, screen and creative industries 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. It is 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 £4.6 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 59% of the 15,420 registered enterprises having zero employees (i.e. are sole traders) and 88% 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 2017

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. VisitScotland's Visitor survey highlights that a third of tourists are inspired to visit Scotland by our culture and heritage.

Useful links


Scottish success at the American Craft Show Baltimore

In February 2017 an exciting first took place as the American Craft Council invited 20 Scottish makers and designers to showcase their work at the exclusive American Craft Show Baltimore through a partnership with Craft Scotland.