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Creative Industry Partnership

Creative Industries Framework Agreement Implementation Group

Scotland 's Creative Industries Partnership Report


1. The Creative Industries Framework Agreement ("Framework Agreement") set out how support for creative industries would be delivered in the future. Published in February 2009, it described the complementary roles the Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Creative Scotland and Scottish Local Government would have to support the sector. Partners involved in the Agreement committed to taking forward work to set out the practical details of ensuring the Agreement could be delivered. This work has been taken forward by a short life working group, the Creative Industries Framework Agreement Implementation Group ("CIFAIG"), jointly chaired by the Scottish Government and COSLA. This group focused on the practical work needed to implement the Framework Agreement effectively.


2. This report focuses on delivering the remit of CIFAIG which was to:

  • Identify and recommend what needs to be done by the organisations party to the Framework Agreement to ensure its effective operational delivery:
  • Identify gaps in current provision and recommend what needs to be done to address those gaps.

3. CIFAIG recognised that its report should be seen as a critical early milestone in an ongoing process of growing the creative industries in Scotland. The full and effective implementation of the recommendations in this report is considered imperative to that process. However, it will also be important for the public sector organisations involved to continue to evolve, build and develop their relationships and understanding so that they can maintain and enhance the quality of support available to creative practitioners.

Statement of Ambition

4. The recommendations of CIFAIG are based on the achievement of the following ambition: that Scotland becomes recognised as one of the world's most creative nations - one that attracts, develops and retains talent, where the arts and the creative industries are supported and celebrated and their economic contribution fully captured.

5. CIFAIG recognised that to achieve the above ambition an innovative structure for supporting and developing the creative industries is required, led by the Scottish Government, with Creative Scotland the principal co-ordinator for action. This structure has to be more than the introduction of a credible and properly empowered Creative Scotland. It must also involve the other parties to the Framework Agreement being prepared to adapt their existing processes and procedures to the achievement of the collective ambition. As importantly, it has to involve and engage practitioners in a manner and at a level that ensures that their contribution is both significant and effective.



6. The Framework Agreement makes clear that public sector support to creative industries will be delivered in partnership with organisations responding according to skills, expertise and knowledge. Given the nature and needs of the sector, no one organisation would be able to address all the needs or operate in isolation. Each organisation will be required, as part of its remit, to work closely with others to ensure an effective joined up approach.

7. To ensure this support is effective, there needs to be clarity for creative practitioners in where to go for support and what to expect from the public sector. With 13 individual sub-sectors, the creative industries are complex with diverse needs, expectations and potential. The public sector interaction with these industries is equally complex and many organisations offer services that are relevant to creative practitioners. CIFAIG looked at how best to deal with this inevitable complexity and how to ensure more effective signposting and navigation through the system so the journey was as seamless and as efficient as possible.

Realistic Expectations

8. CIFAIG felt it important to recognise the purpose of public sector support of creative industries. Supporting the development of the creative industries, a key sector of the Government Economic Strategy and one where Scotland had areas of comparative international advantage, would help contribute to delivering the Government's purpose of creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth. Given the current economic downturn, it is essential that the sector is effectively supported to enable it to thrive. Clearly, however, public sector resources are finite and there will always need to be difficult decisions taken about priorities for where these resources should be used. Those decisions and prioritisation need to be taken based on the best information available and where there is a clear need for public sector support. The recommended structure concentrates on the interventions that the public sector needs to make.


Scottish Government

9. The Scottish Government holds the leadership role for creative industries. It wants its policies to be informed by creative practitioners. In the Framework Agreement, it committed to delivering an evidence based action plan setting out the overarching strategy for creative industries and the creative economy. It is essential that this plan is developed in partnership with key public sector organisations but also properly influenced by the sector.

10. CIFAIG believes that the Government should set out the process by which it will develop the action plan for intervention in the creative industries and make sure it makes early progress to develop and implement it. The Group would expect the plan to be finalised and implementation underway by April 2010.

11. CIFAIG considers it is essential that the organisations party to the agreement be held accountable for their part in the successful implementation of this recommended structure and for their individual and collective contribution. The Scottish Government and Scottish Local Government, as appropriate, will ensure that all organisations deliver against the commitments they made.

Delivery Partners

Working Together

12. The delivery partners, Creative Scotland, Scottish Local Government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise will work together to deliver effective support to the creative industries. The Framework Agreement implementation process has been valuable in enabling partner organisations develop a better understanding of one another's roles so that they can act together to benefit the sector. However, it is clear that partners need to continue to improve their understanding of the sector, their ability to respond to the needs of the sector and to ensure that their response is appropriate to those needs.

13. Creative Scotland will, as part of its role in leading the coordination, draw together material to help partners continue to develop their understanding of the sector and to facilitate an ongoing dialogue to ensure the necessary understanding of each other's activities and intentions.

14. Creative Scotland will engage with other bodies, such as Skills Development Scotland, the Scottish Funding Council and sector skills councils, to coordinate the overall research and provision of effective and consistent information to the Government, other stakeholders and the media. Creative Scotland will similarly engage with all relevant bodies to coordinate the overall provision of effective and consistent advice and appropriate support to current and potential creative practitioners. Such coordination is considered essential if the creative industries sector is to attract and develop the necessary number and quality of creative entrepreneurs and creative companies.

15. Creative Scotland will also engage with partners and other bodies to coordinate the overall assessment of the state of play for the creative industries sector, the challenges and opportunities of the evolving and economic and technological climate and to take stock of the most appropriate advice and support the partner bodies provide to current and potential creative practitioners and companies.

Effective engagement

16. There already exist various mechanisms for engagement with the sector but more needs to be done to ensure that creative practitioners have a significant and credible voice in the development of public sector policy. Given the pace of change in the sector, these new mechanisms need to be flexible and responsive. Future commercial and competitive opportunities need to be recognised so that the sector is able to take due advantage and there needs to be an accessible way for creative practitioners to make themselves and their needs heard. This would allow the public sector to formulate more informed responses and to set more informed priorities. Creative Scotland will facilitate this engagement and will ensure that there is a structure that, for the first time, allows such a comprehensive and effective practitioner involvement across the 13 industries.

17. Creative Scotland will chair a series of reference groups to reflect the 13 sub sectors. These groups will be formed during 2009. Their purpose will be to provide intelligence and advice about the workings of the sector, including commercial opportunities, talent, market development, structural issues and dependencies. Significant and genuine practitioner involvement is central to this structure and is considered the key reason why this structure will be different from and more successful than previous attempts to develop the sector. Creative Scotland will be the guardian and guarantor of practitioner involvement.

18. The reference groups will have a majority of practitioners and/or practitioner representatives (including trade associations and professional bodies). There will be standing invitations to Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Local Government to attend any reference group meetings. Creative Scotland will also, whenever appropriate, invite the participation of other interested and relevant organisations from both the public and private sectors, such as content commissioners and business support providers.

19. There are currently other groups that operate within the remit of partner organisations where creative practitioners are able to engage, for example: the Industry Advisory Groups facilitated by Scottish Enterprise which set clear priorities for growth in areas where Scotland has or can develop an international comparative advantage; the trade groupings supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise which ensure that the private and public sector can work together as effectively as possible; and the local based networks supported by local authorities. These groups have specific purposes in support of the ongoing work of the enterprise agencies and the local authorities.

20. The reference groups will have a complementary but different purpose. CIFAIG accepts the distinctions, however all groups will work closely together where there is a common opportunity and common contribution to be made. Creative Scotland will have a standing invitation to attend any groups facilitated by Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Creative Scotland will engage with Scottish Local Government to help facilitate local partnerships and local strategies, helping to shape best practice at local level.

21. The reference groups will also provide Creative Scotland with a means of regularly updating practitioners on related and relevant matters, such as the development of policy, initiatives to remove barriers to success and the success, or otherwise, of particular tactical interventions.

22. The enterprise agencies and Scottish Local Government commit to being part of the overall engagement structure managed by Creative Scotland. They will be members of the Creative Industries Coordination Group as described below and will have standing invitations to attend any meetings of the reference groups which they consider appropriate.


23. Effective engagement with practitioners should produce valuable intelligence and pertinent information, better identification of the issues and opportunities and lead to a clearer strategic direction for intervention in the sector. To manage that information and intelligence, Creative Scotland will convene and support a Creative Industries Coordination Group ("the Coordination Group") which will be formed during 2009, comprising a core membership of senior level representatives from Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Local Government, Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council. The Scottish Government will also have a standing invitation to attend as an observer. The Coordination Group will call on expert witnesses, including practitioners and practitioners' representatives to inform their discussions. The Coordination Group will ensure that the agencies work effectively together, in a genuine cross boundary partnership, developing effective understanding of each other and of each other's contribution to the achievement of the collective ambition.

24. The Coordination Group will examine the intelligence from the reference groups and other relevant sources, such as the Industry Advisory Groups, and will have three broad outputs:

25. Firstly, the Coordination Group will provide information, analysis and strategic advice about the creative industries to policy makers, especially the Scottish Government. In particular, the Coordination Group will consider the overall economic development of the creative industries and will advise on current performance and future opportunities. This will include consideration of prioritisation across the creative industries within the context of the economic priorities set by the Scottish Government. The Coordination Group would also receive information from the Scottish Government to consider and incorporate into its analysis.

26. Secondly, the Coordination Group will look at the opportunities for growth and barriers to success being faced by the sector. Creative Scotland will convene appropriate fora for informed discussion, leading to recommendations about how to make the most of opportunities for growth and how to remove the barriers. While the Scottish governance bodies would not be formally bound by such advice, it would help those bodies set their policies and priorities for the sector by credibly reflecting the views of key organisations and creative practitioners.

27. The Coordination Group will be able to explore innovative approaches to developing the sector, for example growing talent through approaches like assisted placements, looking at support to take products to the international market, bringing innovators together to make connections and support ideas, looking at the sorts of infrastructure that the sector needs to grow, with incubators, rehearsal and performance places, identifying where investment in infrastructure will be most effective. Such initiatives will be taken forward by members of the Coordination Group on an individual, bilateral or collective basis or by recommendation to Government.

28. CIFAIG appreciates that the sector, backed up by a range of research, is already clear about the key barriers it faces. As an example, one key area is around skills development and it is recognised that those involved in creative industries need a range of skills from the creative and technical relating to the demands of their specific industry, to more general entrepreneurial, management and business skills and to the achievement of elite or recognised world-class capability. CIFAIG welcomed investments in the development of skills and funding for apprenticeships, modern and others, in creative industries and felt that it was essential that such investment was carefully targeted in the future, aligned with the needs of the sector, building on the work of the sector skills councils.

29. In order to properly understand and address the skills barriers, Creative Scotland will bring together Skills Development Scotland, the Scottish Funding Council, the relevant sector skills councils given their remit and role in skills development and the higher and further education sectors to ensure future skills needs are identified, to coordinate activities between and across agencies and to prepare policy advice and information for Government.

30. Thirdly, the Coordination Group will oversee the identification and communication of key opportunities for strategic intervention in the creative industries. To ensure that creative industries achieve the potential identified in the Government Economic Strategy, the public sector needs to be able to intervene to support current high growth companies but also look to support companies which may have a positive and catalytic impact on the growth of the sector, although they are perhaps not in themselves high growth. For example, such companies may be developing a potentially profitable product or technology, or strengthening an important element of the supply chain, or facilitating further significant growth opportunities in their industry or local community.

31. It will also be important that companies exploring new and commercially opportunistic areas of business are identified and supported. These so-called 'pathfinder' companies carry a significant element of risk because their market may be in its infancy, however, they usually carry an equally significant element of reward. It will also look at supporting the development of groups of small companies who in their own right may be small but who together make a substantial economic contribution. It is important that all such strategically important companies and groups of companies are identified, encouraged and supported.

32. Recognising this potential will be a challenging task, it will also carry an element of risk. However, Creative Scotland will, through the reference groups and the Coordination Group, take a lead in developing intelligence and criteria around which companies may fall into this category and in suggesting how they could be supported. CIFAIG would not expect there to be many on an annual basis, but believes that the future growth of the sector depends on being able to identify and support such strategically important companies. The structures CIFAIG recommends be set up should ensure that all parties are collectively and individually better placed to recognise them and better able to work with and support the enterprise agencies and local authorities in their nurturing and development.

33. The experiences and intelligence gathered by the enterprise agencies will also be fed back to inform the work of the Coordination Group.

Accessing Support

34. The Business Gateway will be the primary entrance route for new or pre-start creative businesses into the enterprise process. It will offer a one stop shop for essential business support and will signpost to other sources of relevant sectoral support, advice and expertise.

35. CIFAIG recognises the strong contribution of providers such as the Cultural Enterprise Office, NESTA, HI-arts, the ED Technology Centre, the Innovation Counselling and Advisory Service for Scotland and TRCmedia and would advocate further cooperation between such providers and COSLA at a national level and between such providers and individual local authorities. CIFAIG also acknowledges the important role that Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Local Authorities have in spotting and engaging directly with creative entrepreneurs.

36. CIFAIG is aware and supportive of the ongoing programme of changes to the governance and operation of Business Gateway, including the introduction of appropriate quality assurance and performance standards. CIFAIG recognises the crucial role that COSLA has in linking the development of the Business Gateway to the sectoral activity coordinated by Creative Scotland. Given the critical role played by Business Gateway and the challenges inherent in their servicing such a complex sector within their other broad responsibilities, Creative Scotland will provide advice and support to Business Gateway through its relationship with COSLA. They will jointly encourage the provision of advice, training and materials to the Business Gateway network across Scotland. Other services offered through this partnership would include the provision of advice to other agencies, the design and delivery of new start initiatives, the provision of mentoring services to fledgling companies and the development and management of peer support networks.

Nurturing and developing

37. Under the Framework Agreement, the enterprise agencies role is to identify and develop growth sectors, sub-sectors and businesses and to maximise the economic potential of businesses within creative industries through their account management models. CIFAIG believes it is essential that the enterprise agencies work closely with Creative Scotland on a collective basis, primarily through the Coordination Group, and on a bilateral basis. CIFAIG recommends that the outputs from the Coordination Group are tailored to meet the different strategic approaches of Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Local Government. In particular, the outputs from the Coordination Group should complement both the local network systems of Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the industry focus of Scottish Enterprise.

38. CIFAIG strongly welcomes the commitment of Scottish Enterprise to work with Creative Scotland on specific sectoral initiatives and the commitment of Highlands and Islands Enterprise to work with Creative Scotland on specific sectoral and community based initiatives. CIFAIG believes that such tactical interventions will deliver significant benefits provided they are properly targeted and successfully designed. Creative Scotland will encourage, inform, support and highlight such tactical interventions.

39. CIFAIG believes that organisations involved in providing support to creative practitioners and creative companies could do more to make sure their journey through the system is as efficient as possible. In so far as is possible, organisations should share information and intelligence to avoid creative entrepreneurs having to repeat their information if they are referred onto another organisation. The role of Creative Scotland will be to collate, analyse and circulate the resulting information.

40. CIFAIG believes the enterprise agencies could get better at articulating the support on offer to the sector and welcomes Scottish Enterprise's commitment to have a clearly designated senior person with a specific remit to coordinate their activities across the creative industries sector and to work directly with Creative Scotland.


41. CIFAIG recommends that the Minister for Culture, External Affairs and the Constitution and COSLA's Spokesperson for Community Well-Being & Safety require written progress reports from the Coordination Group every 6 months. This will allow them to satisfy themselves that implementation of the Framework Agreement is producing tangible benefits for creative practitioners and that the interaction between the partner organisations and other bodies is working well in delivering support for the sector.

42. CIFAIG also recommends that the Minister for Culture, External Affairs and the Constitution and COSLA's Spokesperson for Community Well-Being & Safety meet with representatives of the reference groups every six months to hear the perspective of the sector on progress.

43. Creative Scotland will review, with other parties to the Framework Agreement, the number and remit of the reference groups and the overall effectiveness of the engagement process within two years of the establishment of the first reference groups.


44. CIFAIG believes implementing these decisive and practical recommendations presents a genuine opportunity to grow significantly the creative industries sector of the Scottish economy, both in terms of the numbers employed in the creative industries and in the contribution of that sector to the wealth of the Scottish nation.

45. CIFAIG considers that the central role its recommendations give to creative practitioners in this process is key. Practitioners will have an opportunity for their voice to be heard and to influence policy and support for the sector in a way they have not been able to previously.

46. CIFAIG also considers that the commitment of the public sector bodies involved to work together to share resources, ability and talents to the benefit of the sector is essential in complementing that significant practitioner involvement.

47. CIFAIG believes that the implementation of these recommendations, particularly those for credible practitioner involvement and better strategic support, will lead to a better outcome for creative practitioners and make a valuable contribution to Scotland's economy, with the public sector providing more cohesive, responsive and supportive intervention. Implementing these recommendations positively and successfully will ensure that the collective ambition for the creative industries is achieved.