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Culture and the creative economy in Glasgow City Region (GCR), Scotland, United Kingdom


The OECD international report was published in June and a separate Glasgow City Region report has been written which includes recommendations on business support and innovation, jobs and skills, and diversifying funding. The project focused upon four pillars: cultural and creative industries as a driver for regeneration; business support for creative and cultural industries; skills needs of creative and cultural industries; and innovative funding models.


Creative individuals, organisations and businesses from across the city region have participated and been profiled during the lifetime of the project. The project was carried out during COVID-19 and consequently pivoted to consider post-pandemic support for cultural and creative industries, and its future role in economic recovery.


The needs of the Creative and Cultural Sector (CCS) are recognised in the developing programmes to support employment across the wider economy as part of COVID recovery plans. Better evidence of demand is needed and the skills system needs to adapt to the sector’s needs and support long-term growth. Within this, the drive towards wider digital adoption is key. Digital skills remain a key gap in many creative enterprises and must be an important policy focus. The development of a sector wide Fair Work plan could be a useful mechanism to bring together the sector and identify ways of addressing the issues with low pay and precarious work. Mechanisms such as Apprenticeships could be more widely used to create entry pathways for candidates from more diverse backgrounds. There is a need to ensure that the CCS can benefit more easily and extensively from mainstream business support. Where more sector specific support is required, this is best considered at greatest potential for economic growth – in GCR this should focus on screen, gaming, digital tech and design. Access to innovation support needs to be widened; the role of creativity in wider innovation is increasingly recognised, and programmes such as the Creative Accelerator and Glasgow City Council’s Design Thinking programme are useful in this respect. The sector has a responsibility to reduce its own emissions. This is challenging, particularly for live events and touring, where the supply chains can be complicated. Reducing emissions across supply chains may also be an opportunity for innovation and employment creation and should be a priority for the sector. Digital adaptation and areas like design can offer innovative solutions to green the sector and innovation support should align to these objectives. In supporting the financial ecosystem, public funding for culture should not be cut. Access to finance for creative businesses needs to be better understood; engagement with SNIB will be important.


It is proposed that the steering group that has supported the project work to date is reconstituted as a short life working group that will consider the recommendations in the context of current and planned priorities and resources, and develop a city-region action plan.

Author OECD
Published Year 2022
Report Type Research
  • Business infrastructure
    Supporting key sectors
  • Sectors
    Digital markets and enabling technologies, Tourism