Creative Dundee

Dundee’s Creative Industries Strategy

Updates: One year after the launch of Dundee’s Creative Industries Strategy, a core group of individuals and organisations involved in its development and delivery met to share and reflect on developments that have happened since – read more about the event here. The Fabric project which helped form the Strategy has been relaunched into a creative leadership programme for the city in December 2018 – read more about Fabric.

Dundee’s first Creative Industries Strategy can be viewed, downloaded and even listened to online – it includes the ambitions of those working and studying in the city’s creative sector and the actions which should be taken to make the sector stronger over the next 5 years, from 2017 – 2021.

In response to the unique opportunities at this point in time for Dundee and its economy, Dundee’s Creative Industries Strategy was initiated by Creative Dundee on behalf of and with the city. It has been co-designed with those in the city’s creative industries sector and the local and national agencies who support the creative industries.

As a city which increasingly uses participative ways to shape its future, Creative Dundee is pleased to share the Strategy as an interactive website which you are encouraged to comment on and share your views; you can even listen to it as an audio podcast version. We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please do comment on the website and use the hashtag on social media: #DundeeCreates

The three key recommendations within Dundee’s Creative Industries Strategy include:

  • Broadening routes into the creative industries from school, college and University.
  • Collaborating with other sectors (for example: health care, tourism, social enterprise) to create greater impact.
  • Developing innovative ways to share underused city spaces and resources.

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.


“Creating a strategic plan isn’t about generating yet another document to sit in a filing cabinet, for us it’s really only about creating action and finding ways to support initiatives in and around the city, by joining everything up more. It should reflect a vision and plan that is dynamic, focused on the sector mixed economy and developing sustainable employment and businesses.”

Gillian Easson, Director of Creative Dundee

Over 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.

Creative Dundee explored the issues and opportunities facing the sector through a peer 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.

Although Dundee has a strong creative ecology (you can read more about this here), there are areas which could be further improved for the sector to thrive over the next few years. The peer project aimed to support Dundee’s active community in drafting a creative industries strategy for the city, by involving those who will be impacted by it (you can read more about this here).

This strategy was also jointly shaped with the local and national agencies who support the sector, and aims to complement the city’s other strategies such as:

Dundee’s Creative Industries Strategy 2017 – 2021 was launched in Autumn 201. We were 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 endorsed by the Dundee Partnership.

The wide supportive nature of its development is very distinctive of the city, which we aim to explore further and better understand the conditions of the ‘Dundee approach’ over the next few years.

The launch event at DCA brought together key speakers, including; Gillian Easson of Creative Dundee; Beth Bate of DCA; and John Kampfner of Creative Industries Federation, to talk about the opportunities ahead of the city. You can rewatch the video from the event on Creative Dundee’s facebook page.

Speakers at the launch included: 

Gillian Easson, Creative Dundee.

Beth Bate, Director, DCA.

John Kampfner, Creative Industries Federation.

Kirsty Stevens, Charcot.

Colin Anderson, Denki.

Clare Brennan, NEoN and Weave.

Anna Day, Dundee 2023.

Clive Gillman, Creative Scotland.

Gillian Easson, Director of Creative Dundee said:

“The creative industries are critical to Dundee increasingly being recognised as a global creative city, particularly as a UNESCO City of Design and as a city bidding to be European Capital of Culture 2023

Dundee’s Creative Industries Strategy is important to ensuring that we all work together to ensure our creative industries sector underpins our vibrant city and ultimately contributes to creating a healthy and positive place for everyone to live.” 

Beth Bate, Director of DCA, said:

“DCA is delighted to host this important event and to contribute to a vital conversation about how to continue developing the creative sector in Dundee. We are looking forward to working with Creative Dundee and colleagues across the city on the strategy’s implementation.” 

John Kampfner, CEO of the Creative Industries Federation said:

“I’m excited to play a part in this striking initiative. The Creative Industries are worth £87bn to the British economy and I’m delighted that Dundee’s taking a lead in using them to help define its economic, cultural and social future. Later in the week we’ll be releasing the first-ever analysis of post-Brexit employment across the creative industries and Dundee’s Creative Industries Strategy is absolutely right to identify harnessing young talent as one of its key goals.”

Posters featuring quotes from creative businesses and individuals who fed into the development were displayed in 12 locations across Dundee’s city centre for 3 weeks – bringing the strategy to the widest audience possible. View the 14 poster locations across the city which accompanied the Strategy launch here.

Thanks to Jody Mitchell of PixiJO for the photos of posters found across the city-centre.


You can view, download, comment on and even listen to the strategy as it includes a complete audio version – thanks to Fleet Collective who led the design and digital development of the Strategy.


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