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FESTIVAL STARTS AS VALUE OF ARTS HIGHLIGHTED
10 Jul 2012
On the eve of the award-winning Hebridean Celtic Festival a new report shows that the arts and creative industries in the Outer Hebrides support around 500 jobs and add more than £33 million to the local economy.
The economic impact study was commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Creative Scotland, Skills Development Scotland and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. It forms part of a wider study that aims to capture Scotland-wide understanding of the economic impact of the arts and creative industries.
The research identified direct employment in the arts and creative industries in the Outer Hebrides to be around 390. Of these, the vast majority are employed in TV and Radio, fashion and textiles (including Harris Tweed), the heritage sector, publishing and architecture.
It also identifies high numbers of micro-businesses and sole traders working in the arts and creative industries, suggesting the total number of people employed in the sector may exceed 500. When indirect contributions (through the supply chain) and induced effects (spending by those working in the arts and creative industries) are considered, the total impact of the sector is over £33m gross value added (GVA) and £67m in turnover.
The report says that many of those working in the arts and creative industries report the value of community and related cultural associations, and of professional networks. A number of events and facilities contribute to the distinctiveness of the islands, including the Hebridean Celtic Festival, the An Lanntair and Taigh Chearsabhagh arts centres, and Stornoway's new Creative Industries and Media Centre.
Andrew Dixon, Chief Executive, Creative Scotland, said: “This report confirms the strength of talent in the Outer Hebrides, already recognised for world-famous brands such as Harris Tweed, or the hugely successful Hebridean Celtic Festival and now, for the first time, its impact on the islands’ economic well-being can be set alongside the joy that a vibrant cultural life brings to those communities. It is further proof that all of Scotland thrives on creativity.”
The study is available at: http://www.creativescotland.com/resources/research
Caroline MacLennan, director of HebCelt, which opens in Stornoway tomorrow (wed) said: “We welcome this very interesting report which highlights the importance of events like HebCelt to the islands’ economy and the tourism industry.
“HebCelt , which is now in its 17th year, attracts over 14,000 people to the area annually and is worth around £1.5 million annually with spin offs for many local businesses. This year we will have visitors from 19 different countries attending and hopefully that kind of pulling power will continue to be embraced and supported in future.”
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