Creative Industries Strategy 2016-17

The Lighthouse Judy Clark

The Creative Industries Strategy outlines a number of goals for the next 12 months to help inform and support the work of some 14,000 creative businesses in Scotland across no fewer than 16 sub-sectors – from games design to architecture.

This strategy follows on from the Screen Strategy, published in October 2014, and anticipated the Arts Strategy, which was published in summer 2016. It focuses on supporting creative companies and businesses aiming to be self-sustaining. All three strategies will be reviewed and aligned in 2017. 

“if an industry is to advance, much – perhaps all – innovation will come from businesses that do not exist yet. Their founders may not even have imagined the activities that will one day make them celebrities.”- John Kay, writing in the Financial Times

We’re acutely aware that although many companies and individuals have had support from ourselves and our partner organisations, some do not have direct relationships with Creative Scotland or other public agencies and advisory bodies.

We know that many types of businesses from sole traders to large enterprises play a vital role in the landscape we are committed to nurturing and growing.

We know too that everyone involved in the creative industries needs a champion and our aim is to be just that by valuing the social and cultural contribution they make as well as the economic.

Our overall ambition is for Scotland to be the most positive environment globally for innovative creative businesses of all scales.


Our aims

Our four headline aims are as simple as they are important:

  1. Investing together to grow sustainable creative businesses through collaboration and partnership working.
  2. Innovating for the wider economy across all areas of business including the public sector.
  3. Increasing inclusivity; creating opportunity for emergent creative forms and recognising the value of local trading and place-based partnerships.
  4. Increasing international profile and status; opening pathways to global marketplaces.

Find out more about our aims and how we will achieve them in the full Strategy document (PDF).

Switches letterbox image

Our role

Our main role over the next 12 months will be to support the development of the micro-enterprises that make up the majority of the creative industries sector in Scotland.

Funding sources as a whole for the creative industries present a complex picture. But what we can and will do with our partners is target investment as intelligently as possible to build the sector collectively.

In short, our strategy is to grow sustainability, innovation and specialisation, and to encourage the resilience we need for a successful 21st century economy.

Creative Scotland has a threefold role: as an advocate; as a broker; as an investor.

In practice this involves:

  • championing achievement across the creative industries in Scotland and celebrating their successes.
  • brokering agreements with strategic partners to utilise collective strengths and skills. We have been asked to lead on this co-ordination working alongside our nine partners in Scotland's Creative Industries Partnership (SCIP).
  • using these relationships to provide the right tools for the creative industries everywhere to reach their full potential. It means fostering an environment where these tools are available for everyone - crucial to Scotland's success.

Make Works Patricia Neimman Studio RoRo

Making it happen

Our specialist Creative Industries Team will lead on the delivery of this strategy. It will be used as a basis for informing all our judgements and decisions across the organisation.

But the practitioners themselves are the principal key to success, which is why one of our main strategic functions is to listen, and listen hard, to their priorities. The creative industries are crucial to Scotland’s success now and in the future.

The emphases will be different throughout sectors and across our varied geography. But the common imperative is for Creative Scotland to speak clearly and appropriately both in nurturing emergent activity, and helping existing sole traders and businesses flourish.

With our partners we want to create the conditions for the sector to strengthen itself and grow.

To keep in touch with what we’re doing, sign up for our monthly Newsletter. If you want to know more about Creative Scotland and the work we do, contact our Enquiries Service.


Creative Industries Strategy 2016-17

This Creative Industries Strategy is one of three, sitting alongside the strategies for Arts and Screen. It focuses on supporting creative companies and businesses aiming to be self-sustaining. All three strategies will be reviewed and refreshed in 2017.

Ro-innleachd Gnìomhachasan Cruthachail 2016-17

Download a Gaelic translation of the Creative Industries strategy in pdf format.

Creative Industries Strategy Appendix 1 - Measuring Progress

This appendix outlines how we will monitor the progress of the Creative Industries Strategy against the priorities set out in the Creative Scotland 10-year plan: Unlocking Potential, Embracing Ambition.

Ro-innleachd Gnìomhachasan Cruthachail Earr-ràdh 1 - A’ Tomhas Adhartas

Download a Gaelic translation of Appendix 1 in PDF format.

Creative Industries Strategy Appendix 2 - What are the Creative Industries?

This appendix details the history and development of the ‘creative industries’ in Scotland and sets out the methods used to support its development and assess its activity.

Creative Industries Strategy Appendix 3 - The Consultation Process

This appendix outlines the consultation process that we undertook in developing the Creative Industries Strategy 2016-17.

Creative Industries Strategy Appendix 4 - Creative Scotland and the Creative Industries

This appendix outlines some of the ways in which Creative Scotland has provided support for some sectors of the creative industries over the past few years.

Photo credits: Judy Clark and MYB Lace at The Lighthouse (Scotland Re:Designed), Podbox studio (Make Works), Slam of the Arcade Age by One Life Remains, at Tacos, Bluegrass and Video Game (Chris Scott) and Patricia Niemann (Make Works).