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Creative Scotland Framework announced

Linda Fabiani, the Scottish Culture Minister, and Ewan Brown, the chair of Creative Scotland Ltd – the forerunner of the eventual new funding body – yesterday unveiled a new framework for the support of what they defined as the Creative Industries – 13 industries that in 2006 together generated a turnover of £5.1bn and supported more than 60,000 jobs . Creative Scotland will be formed in 2010, if the measures for its creation are passed in the forthcoming Public Services Reform Bill. It will primarily act as a guiding hand for businesses involved in the creative industries, with the enterprise companies providing the financial assistance.

Creative Scotland will co-operate with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and all of Scotland’s local authorities. Creative Scotland would still primarily be involved in supporting artists.

More details of how the new creative industries agreement will work in practice will be announced in the coming three months. Mr Brown said that the announcement showed that Creative Scotland would be an entirely new body with a new identity, not just a merger of two pre-existing quangos. The Framework overview suggests:

“The Scottish Government holds the leadership role for creative industries and the future of success of creative industries will be dependent on a Team Scotland approach.  Organisations including Creative Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, local government, skills agencies, further and higher education and regulators, must work with the Scottish Government and the creative industries community – its talent, business organisations, trade bodies, commissioners and financiers – to ensure a thriving creative industries sector in Scotland.

Organisations will have distinct complementary roles.  In essence:

•    Creative Scotland’s role will be to provide research, intelligence and advocacy across the 13 creative industries.  It will lead co-ordination activity in developing the creative industry sector.  It will inherit the functions, responsibilities and resources of Scottish Screen and the Scottish Arts Council and develop them using its sector specific knowledge, skills and experience;

•    The Enterprise agencies’ role will be to identify and develop growth sectors, sub-sectors and businesses and to maximise the economic potential of businesses within creative industries;

•    Local authorities will support creative industries in their area and are responsible for the governance of the business gateway;

•    The Business Gateway’s role will be to provide generic business advice and signpost to other sources of specialised support and advice;

•    No organisation can fulfil its role in isolation and will be required, as part of its remit, to work closely with others to ensure they learn from each other’s expertise and knowledge so there is an effective interface, a genuine joined up approach and the right links are made to make sure that Scotland gets the best out of its creative sector.”

I like the final point as it indicates a spirit of collaboration, but that’s always been the aspiration. The roadmap for getting there is no more clearly drawn out.