UK and Scottish governments 'must back creative industries'

UK and Scottish governments ‘must back creative industries’

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The UK and Scottish governments should work more closely to support the creative industries in Scotland, a Westminster committee has recommended.

A Scottish affairs committee report said they need to recognise the sector as an important economic contributor.

It warned a lack of co-operation could risk millions of pounds of investment.

The report will be launched in Dundee – the centre of the UK’s gaming industry, where world-famous titles like Grand theft Auto were created.

According to the influential committee, the two governments must co-operate to better understand and support the sector.

It has proposed a number of improvements, including the creation of a distributor for lottery funding to the video games industry – similar to that already enjoyed by the film industry.

The committee called for broadcasters to better engage with, and commission more from, Scotland’s TV production companies.

The UK government has also been urged to explore how creative tax reliefs could be of greater benefit to industries here.

‘Poorly understood’

Committee chairman Pete Wishart MP, said the committee had been “hugely impressed” by the talent and ambition of creative professionals in Scotland.

But had added: “I am concerned that the sector is poorly understood by government and as a result is not able to thrive as it should.

“We have looked at several areas—including intellectual property, tax reliefs and broadcasting – where it is not clear the interests of the creative industries in Scotland are being considered adequately by the UK government.

“We have made specific recommendations for how Scottish interests should be reflected in these policies, and called on the UK government to take action to make sure the views of the creative sector in Scotland inform future policy.”

Committee member and SNP MP for Dundee West, Chris Law, said: “When the committee took evidence for the inquiry in October last year, here in Dundee, it was a great opportunity for companies in the creative industries based here to tell the committee exactly how the UK government can do more to help the sector to grow.

“It is clear that with increased and continued support from both public and private sector, such investment will pay huge rewards in terms of both jobs and Scotland’s image as home to one of the world’s most important clusters of innovative knowledge economy companies.”

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