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Scotland's creative industries facts

BBC Scotland headquarters at Pacific Quay, Glasgow

Creative industries in Scotland

Latest stats and facts on Scotland's creative industries sector. Published February 2021.

Industry profile

Scotland is home to world class companies in all areas of the creative industries, from international leaders in games development and interactive platforms, to national broadcasters and successful production companies.

Scotland has global centres of research excellence that develop next generation technologies to support ongoing growth in the digital media environment. It also has well-developed infrastructure to support company growth.

Scottish Enterprise maintains close relationships with many partners and stakeholders including Innovate UK, Tech City UK, Creative Scotland, trade bodies such as PACT, TIGA and the broadcasters BBC/STV/Channel 4.

Film making technology, Abertay University

Scottish creative industries stats

15,845 companies

8.9% of Scotland's total companies (2019)

90,000 employment

3.5% of Scotland's total employment (2019)

£4.6bn GVA

3.3% of Scotland's GVA (2018)

£1.6bn exports

4.7% of Scotland's total international exports (2018)

£232m R&D

16.5% of Scotland's BERD (2019)

The School of Simulation and Visualisation (previously the Digital Design Studio) at Glasgow School of Art

Academic partnerships

We work with a number of academic institutions, including Abertay University and the Bayes Centre at the University of Edinburgh.

Major projects include:

  • Informatics Ventures, a knowledge exchange programme that inspires and develops globally ambitious software start-ups across Scotland
  • DEEP with TRC Media which provides a range of world-class training initiatives to develop digital media leaders
  • Data Lab which enables industry, public sector and world-class university researchers to innovate and develop new data science capabilities

Company insight

Creative industries companies surveyed between August and December 2020

Biggest challenges
  • 78% reported impact of Covid-19

  • 22% reported retaining and recruiting staff

Biggest opportunities
  • 50% developing new products and services

  • 28% maximising existing clients and markets

School of Simulation and Visualisation, Glasgow School of Art

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