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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.


Record £69.4m spend on film and TV production

Production spend on film and TV in Scotland has increased by more than 30% to a record high of £69.4 million in 2016.

Craft Scotland Summer Show makes waves in Edinburgh

The Craft Scotland Summer Show is an annual selling exhibition, showcasing contemporary, design-led craft throughout August in Edinburgh. Here, a selection of Summer Show makers talk about their favourite pieces they have made for the show, and what makes it extra special to them.

A focus on business development for Scotland's screen sector

A new initiative has been launched for Scotland's screen sector, providing expert sector-specific business support to 20 screen production companies to encourage them to grow and expand.

Edinburgh International Film Festival records boost in admissions for 70th Anniversary

Edinburgh International Film Festival is celebrating a successful 71st edition, which saw a sixth successive year of increased audience numbers.

Film fund generates £17.5m for economy

A fund to incentivise film production in Scotland has generated £17.5m for the economy – returning £10 for every pound spent.

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.

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.