A Strategy for Dundee’s Creative Industries

Over the last two years, Creative Dundee has led discussions and research about the future of Dundee’s creative industries with those working/studying across the broad creative disciplines, and the local and national agencies who are there to support them. The aim has been to develop a collaborative creative industries strategy which meets the needs of the city’s creative sector.

Scotland’s creative industries sector – we use Scottish’s Government’s definition of the creative industries – is characterised by small businesses. Although 87% of businesses have fewer than 5 employees, they contribute a massive £3.7 billion GVA to the Scottish economy annually. This is huge and the creative industries are one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK. More importantly than the economics for us, is that we think a thriving creative industries sector underpins a vibrant cultural scene and ultimately contributes to creating a positive place to live/ healthy society.

Creative Dundee explored the issues and opportunities facing the sector through a project called Fabric Dundee, during Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016. We held a series of workshops and a study visit, with participants coming from a range of creative backgrounds and all career stages. We also invited responses through an online public survey, ran one-to-one interviews with local creative businesses and chaired a creative industries stakeholder group.

Through this we have developed Dundee’s Creative Industries Strategy 2017 – 2021, which will launch in Autumn 2017. We’re excited as a small creative organisation, highly typical of the sector, to lead the development of this strategy on behalf of and with the city, which has been recently endorsed by the Dundee Partnership. The wide supportive nature of its development is very typical of the city, which we aim to explore further and better understand the conditions of the ‘Dundee approach’ over the next few years.

Before the strategy is launched we want to give you a flavour of what to expect and what it actually means for the city/creative sector. The key areas of focus within the Strategy for 2017 – 2021 include:

  • Progression routes into/through the creative industries.
  • Collaborating with other sectors to create greater impact.
  • Making better use of city spaces and resources.

There will be more in-depth coverage on the three above topics when it launches of course. What this means is there is now a strategy and action plan in place and commitment by organisations/those in the creative industries to work collectively towards tackling the above challenges over the next few years.

We know that there are a number of initiatives led by individuals, collectives, businesses and support organisations who are already working on these issues. This strategy will enable us all to amplify these more, explore the interconnectivity and interdependency of the city’s activities further, whilst collaboratively developing new approaches to solving challenges across the city and beyond.

The strategy will launch mid October and the best way to keep up to date with this is to receive our free monthly news mail out. If you have any questions or would like further information about the Strategy, please contact Gillian Easson.

If you would like more info about Creative Dundee, or our own journey to become a creative organisation, supporting the creative industries, please have a read here and here.