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Talks to boost creative industries in Scotland

Published: 2 Nov 2015 16:05

The UK Government is being urged to go further to help support the creative sector

The Culture Secretary has called on the UK Government to ensure the interests of Scotland's creative industries are adequately represented in Europe. Appearing before the Scottish Affairs Committee, Fiona Hyslop urged ministers to ensure our interests are represented in the review of EU copyright regulations as part of the new European Digital Single Market Strategy.

The creative industries in Scotland are worth over £5 billion to the Scottish economy and currently employ over 71, 000 people. The Scottish Government has given its full support to the Skills Development Scotland Skills Investment Plan for Scotland's creative industries which was launched recently with improved digital, diversity, business skills and the promotion of jobs at its heart.

Three funds have also been created to provide financial support for Scottish film, animation and high-end TV productions. A £2 million Tax Credit Loan Fund provides a loan facility to qualifying productions in Scotland to fund the use UK film, animation and high-end TV Tax Credits earlier. A £1 million Screen Sector Skills Fund provides training and skills development opportunities for people already involved in the sector and young people considering a career in screen. A new £1.75 million Production Growth Fund also gives Film and TV producers a new incentive to base their productions in Scotland.

Work on the BBC Charter renewal, in particular through our proposals for an extra platform for Scotland, would provide additional opportunities for our creative industries and a better distribution of production across Scotland. These proposals would be supported by a proportionate share of the BBC license fee, addressing the current mismatch between the £335 million income for the BBC from Scotland and the £190 million spent here, of which only around £35 million is spent on TV production for Scotland.

Speaking after the Scottish Affairs Committee meeting, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said:

"The Scottish Government has taken great strides in supporting our creative industries; however we cannot lose the momentum. It is only by representing Scotland's interests in this inquiry that we can continue to create more jobs and a better product for audiences.

"I welcomed the opportunity to appear before the Westminster committee in Glasgow today where I urged the UK Government to ensure Scotland is represented in the EU's proposals for a Digital Single Market.

"We need the Digital Single Market to reflect the needs and opportunities of our creative industries particularly TV and film and to help our music and other creative industries reach more consumers in a way that helps artists grow. We also need to create the right conditions for digital networks and services, while maximising our growth potential."