British Council Scotland and Creative Scotland have launched a new report about Scotland's creative sector, revealing the story of Scotland’s cultural standing within the country and on the international stage.
Written by Bryan Beattie, Director of Creative Services Scotland and Rachel Blanche, Lecturer in Cultural Policy, Queen Margaret University, the report serves as a rich resource of first-hand information and model working for the sector to draw upon in its work to recover from the impacts of the global pandemic. As well as a practical tool to inform, the content of the report inspires new engagement with international stakeholders.
The report, which is the first of its kind, is presented in two sections, To See Ourselves and As Others See Us and involved interviews with strategic leaders across Scotland’s creative industries, as well as surveys with international and Scottish arts professionals.
Alongside looking at Scotland’s intangible and tangible cultural heritage such as its history, landscapes, language, people and stories, those surveyed considered factors such as the impact of Covid-19, Scotland’s complex relationship with England and the authenticity of its cultural heritage.
The British Council and Creative Scotland have worked in a strategic partnership for over ten years, identifying and investing in long-term strategy to further international cultural relations and to help create new opportunities globally for the Scottish arts sector. This work has resulted in strong international connections for artists, organisations and projects through programmes such as Momentum, that has brought over 900 delegates to Scotland over the last decade, and for major seasons in India, Brazil and Japan, and events such as the Edinburgh International Festival itself. This report delves into Scotland’s place in the world and shows how these global connections contribute to the unique assets of Scotland’s creative sector.
Reflecting on the question ‘What are Scotland’s cultural assets?’, the authors gathered views from across the country – using discussion groups, questionnaires and interviews, and built a rich picture of both the opportunities and the challenges experienced by the sector. The authors observe ideas about how the fabric of Scotland is changing, notions of diversity and egalitarianism, and Scotland’s geography and unique sense of place.
In a deep dive into global perceptions, this section presents data on what makes Scotland’s arts and culture sector distinctive on the international stage. The report reveals that Scotland’s cultural policies, arts for children and young people, and the disability arts sector are among key cultural assets as perceived by stakeholders.