Creative Industries

Creative Scotland has a clear commitment to support the creative industries through the statutory functions defined as part of the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010.[1]

Our approach to fulfilling this commitment was first articulated through the Creative Industries Strategy that was published in 2016. It describes a developmental approach in which our focus is on the growth of ‘sustainable creative businesses’.

Our current approach to supporting the Creative Industries

We believe that everyone is creative and some people are motivated to turn this into the basis for how they live, work or study. The products of this creativity have the capacity to generate cultural, social and economic value, which are independent forms of value that are each measured and understood differently.

We recognise that much creativity is sustained through the market (buying tickets, books, music, games etc.), but some is not sustained by the market and can therefore benefit from public intervention to ensure issues of access, experimentation and market failure do not stop great things from happening for as many people as possible.

Using predominantly funds from the National Lottery we have focused on sectoral or place based interventions; testing ideas and innovating in the creation of an effective support structure for emerging creative businesses in alignment with the remit provided by the Scottish Government for research, intelligence and advocacy in support of the sector.

The Creative Industries team at Creative Scotland

The Creative Industries team does not have a remit to develop individual businesses within the creative industries. This business development work is undertaken by our colleagues in the enterprise support system (Scottish Enterprise; Highlands & Island Enterprise; South of Scotland Enterprise; and Business Gateway).

Instead, our approach is informed by the following priorities:

  • Supporting projects that have wide impact and which can help sub-sectors and clusters of businesses grow their sustainability
  • Unlocking partnership support from other parts of the public sector as well as enterprise, academic and private sector partners in support of this core aim, and
  • Growing intelligence, knowledge, and understanding of new ways of working – especially the application of evidence-based development.

The Scottish Government define 16 sub-sectors within the Creative Industries and although this explains how we count activity in this area, it does not limit our interventions.

Within Creative Scotland, the Creative Industries team also lead on the artforms of Architecture, Craft, Design, Creative Technology and Network Culture, Fashion and Textiles, as well as also working with the dedicated artform teams within Creative Scotland that lead on, including Music, Literature, Dance, Theatre and Visual Arts.

Creative Industries and Targeted Funds

Projects and ideas from individuals and organisations can be supported both by targeted funds managed by the Creative Industries team and by Open Project Funding. Find out more about funding.

Business Support for Creative Industries

There are a wide variety of support options for creative businesses in Scotland, from funding advice to development resources. Find out more about business support.

Want to discuss ideas with our team? We'd love to hear from you. Get in touch at