Creative industries in Northern Ireland struggle to make impact

06 March 2013

DCAL, the department responsible for the creative industries in Northern Ireland, has published its second set of experimental statistics looking at the state of the creative industries in the province. (We blogged about the first set of data in 2011 here.)

The figures suggest that the creative industries are struggling to grow. The total GVA of the sector has fallen by 25% between 2008 and 2009 (though it should be pointed out that GVA figures are often subject to big fluctuations), while the number of businesses remained static at 1,375, or 2% of Northern Ireland’s stock. The employment picture was brighter, with 21,000 people working either in the creative industries or in creative occupations outside the creative sector: 2.8% of the total.

Among the individual industries, architecture and publishing were the two largest contributors to GVA. The total of 1,375 businesses included only ten computer software firms, a much lower proportion than is typical for the rest of the UK.

The picture is not all gloomy, however. Music and visual and performing arts saw both GVA and business numbers rise. The music scene in particular is thriving, as this New York Times article observes.

Chris Gibbon