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Survey announced to build creative ambitions together

Survey announced to build creative ambitions together
01 July 2021

The University of the Highlands and Islands centre for island creativity wants to hear from creative businesses, practitioners and professionals in Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides as part of research into the economic and social impact of the islands’ creative sector.

Open until midnight Monday 19 July, a survey for those involved in any aspect of the creative arts and industries, from emerging graduates to established practitioners, is aimed at not only those currently based in the Islands but also those with an interest in relocating or returning to the islands to live and work. Collecting responses is key to building a clear picture of what the professional and practical support needs of the sector are.

The findings will influence the development of the Islands Growth Deal’s ‘Creative Islands Wellbeing Programme’, which aims to establish new island-specific networks of creative practice hubs and wellbeing innovation, and which is being supported by c£6m investment from Scottish and UK Governments. Professor Keith McIntyre, interim director at the university’s centre which is leading the survey on behalf of the Islands Deal partners said:

"Our islands are a source of inspiration for artists, designers, filmmakers and creative businesses working in so many sectors. And it is of real importance to the development of the programme that we focus on identifying and understanding local opportunities and community priorities.

“We want to create a foundation that not only retains our talented thinkers, manufacturers, producers and creators, it also attracts imaginative entrepreneurial talent and new businesses into our Islands creative economy and beyond.

“So, if you are a designer in fashion, graphics or products or are working in TV, film, animation, games design or an artist working in Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides, please take a little time to take part in the survey. By contributing you will help to provide us with the much-needed data to inform how best we invest in our future resources to grow our creative economy sustainably.”

Cllr Roddie Mackay, Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, speaking on behalf of the local authority partners in the Islands Growth Deal, said:

“The proposals for investing in the creative industries sector through the Growth Deal recognises the already strong reputation of Orkney, Shetland and the Outer Hebrides as creative centres of excellence, inspired by the natural environment and rich culture of the islands, along with real opportunities we have for further growth. The responses to the survey will be critical to helping us find out more about the growth aspirations of creative practitioners and the support they need to achieve these ambitions”.

Orkney Islands Council Leader James Stockan said:

“Talented folk who find inspiration in our islands have long made a tremendous contribution in so many ways to the wellbeing of our community.

“This important survey will highlight just how important a contribution this is – and what’s needed to nurture and sustain this creativity over the years ahead.

“I would encourage all involved to make your views and ideas known. You’ll be shaping a programme of great significance for our creative future.”

To take part in the survey visit the UHI website - the survey closes midnight on 19 July 2021.

The Islands Deal is a partnership between the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Orkney Islands Council, Shetland Islands Council, Scottish and UK governments and the academic and business sectors that aims to harness the Islands unique assets and strengthen the distinct and important contribution they make to the economic vitality and international reputation of Scotland and the United Kingdom.

The Creative Islands and Wellbeing partners are the University of the Highlands and Islands, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, leading on behalf of the three councils.

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Telephone: 01856 873535

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