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Economic and social impact of Dundee’s Cultural Strategy and Action Plan


The study assessed the economic impact of the Dundee Cultural Strategy and Action Plan and the cultural operations and activities that are delivered within the framework. The report presents a sector profile of the culture and creative sector in Dundee, and an economic impact assessment, capturing current employment, GVA and visitor spend impacts, and considering the potential for this to change in future years. It examines the social impacts generated by Dundee’s cultural organisations, including volunteering, health, wellbeing and education benefits. It then sets out the wider economic and strategic impacts of the sector and the strategy, providing an overview of these impacts and their drivers. Finally, it makes a series of recommendations on suitable indicators that could be used to track and measure progress and impact on an ongoing basis.


The study drew upon standard datasets that are published at the local and national level to create a sector profile for the Creative and Cultural sector in Dundee. It also involved the collation and analysis of data from 14 organisations that are involved in delivering cultural activity in Dundee to inform the impact assessment. Consultations were held with 12 stakeholders and the study Steering Group, including representatives from across the city and wider city region. Data provided by the organisations and intelligence gathered through the consultations was also used to inform the impact assessment.


The study found that the creative and cultural industries (CCI) is an important source of employment in Dundee – employing 2,800 people and accounting for almost 4% of total employment in Dundee City. Writing and publishing, along with computer games, were significant employers but there was also a diverse range of opportunities, for example in performing arts and design. CCI businesses were generally microbusinesses – accounting for 8% of all enterprises. Overall, from direct, indirect and induced and visitor impacts, it was calculated that the organisations in the study delivered employment impacts of over 919 FTEs, generating £27.7 million in GVA. Extrapolating the data provided gave an estimated total impact across the whole cultural sector of 1,011.6 FTEs and £30.5m GVA. The study found that the CCI sector has the potential to deliver a higher degree of community and social benefits than many other sectors. The organisations studied provided volunteering opportunities to over 550 people, with the work undertaken by these volunteers and the well-being benefits being estimated at approximately £669,000 and £2.1m respectively. It was also estimated that the organisations studied had delivered well-being and education benefits worth approximately £13.7m and £1.1m respectively. For the whole cultural sector in Dundee, wellbeing benefits were estimated at around £15.1m and education benefits at around £1.2m (+/-5%). It was also found that the CCI sector had offered wider benefits to Dundee and its economy, including improving residents’ and others’ perceptions of Dundee.


It was recommended that consideration should be given to how organisations may obtain and monitor data on visitor spend or the origin of visitors. It was also recommended that, going forward, the assessment of the economic impact of the Culture Strategy and Action Plan should consider five strands which lead to the estimate of the total FTE jobs and GVA. These five strands were: direct permanent employment impact; induced and indirect impact of direct operations; temporary employment impact; visitor spend impact; and indirect and induced impact of visitor spend. The key social impacts to consider were: volunteer impacts; participation wellbeing impacts; and participation education impacts.

Author Ekosgen
Published Year 2018
Report Type Research
  • Enterprise
    Sector-level support