This mapping report provides a record of hubs across Scotland, along with an overview of their sustainability, social and economic impacts, their international connections and their inclination to respond to global challenges. This report was commissioned as the first stage of a UK-wide attempt to map creative hubs to deepen the understanding of the sector in the UK.
Scotland’s creative industries comprise over 15,000 businesses employing more than 70,000 people, in addition to a large number of freelancers as well as students studying creative courses; and they contribute more than £5 billion to the Scottish economy every year.
The COVID-19 crisis in 2020 has undoubtedly affected the culture and creative sector. For creative hubs and similar organisations worldwide, the immediate effects include the closing of physical shared spaces, a ban on all live gatherings, a forced push towards digitalisation, a rapid reduction in available funds and a steep deterioration of creatives’ livelihoods, among others. This research started in February 2020, just as the international impact of COVID-19 was being realised in the UK.
It is acknowledged that this report mirrors the creative hubs sector as it was before COVID-19. In sharing this work, it is hoped that creative hubs around the world will realise more than ever that they are not alone in the challenges they face.
This piece of research was prepared in partnership with Creative Scotland: co-funded through the Creative Industries Programme with National Lottery funding. Lindsay Dunbar is an experienced "cultural crofter" and the author of the mapping.