Creative industries

An introduction to the role of creative industries in the economy and sub-sectors of creative industries along with information about the Department's strategic plan for creative industries, the creative industry innovation fund and the music industry.

Role of creative industries in the economy

The Department is the lead on the creative industries. Prosperous economies are characterised by a strong creative sector and the creative industries are recognised across the globe for their potential for wealth and job creation. They are emerging as one of the fastest growing and increasingly important sectors of the economy. Locally, over 36,000 people are employed in the creative industries or in creative occupations. This represents 4.6% of the workforce.

Promoting innovation, R&D and creativity has been recognised by the NI Executive as a key priority in rebuilding and rebalancing our economy. The creative industries are important drivers of economic and social innovation. This vibrant sector has huge potential and can have significant spill-over impact into other business areas such as manufacturing and tourism.

Sub-sectors of creative industries

The creative industries are commonly considered to include sub-sectors such as:

  • advertising
  • architecture
  • arts and antiques
  • computer Games
  • crafts
  • design
  • designer fashion
  • film
  • TV and radio
  • music
  • performing arts
  • publishing
  • software/digital media

Strategic action plan for creative industries

In 2008 DCAL launched the Strategic Action Plan for the Creative Industries which outlined the main issues and opportunities for the growth of the creative industries in the region.

This Action Plan guided the priorities for action of the Creative Industries Innovation Fund (CIIF) which, through the Arts Council, provided funding over 2008-2011 to creative enterprises and sectoral development bodies.

Creative industries innovation fund (CIIF)

CIIF 2 was launched in July 2011 and will provide support over 2011-2015 for innovative development of commercially viable content, products, services and experiences capable of competing in global markets.

The fund is administered by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and is supported by NI Screen and Digital Circle. Further details can be found on the Arts council's website.

Music industry

In November 2011, DCAL and Invest Northern Ireland published a strategy document which outlines the key priority areas to encourage the growth of a vibrant and sustainable music industry. It highlights the importance of building capacity in the local music industry and reinforces the vital role of talent development, innovation, entrepreneurship and the opportunities offered by diverse digital platforms.

Role of creative and cultural infrastructure

The Arts Council and NI Screen play a key role in supporting and nurturing the creative industries across the region. The Department is also committed to harnessing the catalytic potential of Northern Ireland’s creative and cultural infrastructure – museums, libraries, W5, the Armagh Planetarium and Observatory etc to inspire new collaborations and initiatives to support the creative industries.

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