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Creative Clusters 2008, Glasgow: Scottish Issues

Creative Scotland

The last few years have seen substantial initiatives by the Scottish Government in policy for culture and the creative economy:

> 1999: Celebrating Scotland: A National Cultural Strategy
> 2005: The Cultural Commission and the Scottish Executive’s Response
> 2007: The National Conversation
> 2008: Scottish Broadcasting Commission
> 2008: launch of Gaelic broadcasting channel, BBC Alba

The most recent of these interventions, perhaps the most far-reaching, and certainly the most controversial, is Creative Scotland: a new government agency to support and develop the arts, creative and screen industries. By 2010, all the functions of the Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen, and perhaps some of those of Scottish Enterprise, will be merged into the new body.

Creative Clusters includes a special session on Creative Scotland, with Anne Bonnar (Transition Director, tasked with overseeing the change to the new body), and Executive Board Members of Creative Scotland.

Creative Scotland has provoked intense media debate:

> Times Online: Creative Scotland plans will go ahead.
> Times Online: New quango will ‘starve arts of cash’.
> Sunday Herald: Why they have got it wrong…
> Sunday Herald: When her father wasn’t reading her the Grapes Of Wrath…
> Sunday Herald: Swinton and arts world join chorus of disaproval…
> Scotsman: If we want to promote Scottish culture…
> Press & Journal: Fears voiced over promoting the Scots language.

Scottish Broadcasting Commission

The SBC was established by the Scottish Government in 2007 to conduct an independent investigation into the current state of television production and broadcasting in Scotland and cheap oakleys define a strategic way forward for the industry. It examined the impact of broadcasting from three perspectives: economic, cultural and democratic.

The final report in September 2008 was greeted by Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond as “a blueprint for a revolution in Scottish broadcasting, containing a range of very positive and exciting proposals.”

Recommendations include:

> Creation of new a Scottish Network, licensed by Ofcom
> BBC should secure 8.6% of network TV production from Scotland.
> Channel 4: a mandatory target for production from Scotland (8.6%), and one of its commissioning departments should be based in Scotland.
> All broadcasters in the UK should review the performance of their news services in reporting the four nations in a manner that is accurate and relevant for all.
> The Scottish Parliament should take an active role in considering the broadcasting industry and services audiences receive.
> Ofcom Scotland: influences and responsibilities should be strengthened, and specific representation for Scotland on the Ofcom Board at UK level.

The chair, Blair Jenkins, speaks at Creative Clusters about the economic aspects of the Commission’s work:

A healthy broadcasting industry is beneficial to the Scottish economy.

Already, broadcasting in Scotland contributes to the employment of creative and technical people, the viability of services which support the industry and the communication of ideas and issues.

There is real, significant value in the way broadcasting can be a catalyst for wider economic growth. The Work Foundation and Demos, amongst others, have examined how inter-related ‘creative industries’ can spark economic success and have looked at the factors leading to such success.

The Commission is looking to consider ‘what works?’ How can the sector’s strengths and public resources be harnessed to best grow the industry? How can we maximise the economic benefits Oakley Sunglasses cheap which can flow from a strong broadcasting sector?

SBC online and in the media:

> The Scottish Broadcasting Commission Final Report
> The Scottish Government
> Times Online: Scottish digital TV will be a turn-off.
> All Media Scotland: comment.
> The Sunday Herald: Concern over funding.
> The Sunday Herald: Beeb answers critics.
> The Guardian: Blair Jenkins.
> Times Online: Blair Jenkins seeks a ‘Scottish Network’.