Creative Industries

Edinburgh, the world's first UNESCO City of Literature is recognised internationally for its artistic, creative and cultural excellence.

Edinburgh hosts a year-round programme of 12 festivals generating £200m for the local economy and supporting almost 4,000 jobs. This creative legacy underpins Edinburgh's reputation as a centre of knowledge and innovation. It is also a key factor in the city region's attractiveness as a destination and high quality of life.

The Inspiring Capital is home to national institutions including The Royal Scottish Academy (founded 1826) the National Gallery of Art (1859), the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (1889), National Library of Scotland (1925), the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (1960) and the Scottish Arts Council (1994).

The creative community is well looked after in Edinburgh. Through its People, Place and Pound strategy, the City of Edinburgh Council aims to further grow and strengthen the international competitiveness of the city’s creative base. It has already helped to set up Creative Edinburgh, which connects its members to available support, programmed events, business networks, skills development and investment opportunities. Now the forward thinking Council has developed the Creative Exchange, a state-of-the-art business incubator, to foster new talent and support the growth of start-up and digital media companies.

The sector encompasses advertising, architecture, art and design, computer and video games, crafts, designer fashion, film and video, music, the performing arts, publishing, software and broadcasting.

The Edinburgh – Shenzhen Joint Creative Industries Incubator 

Discover more about the opportunities that exist for Edinburgh tech and creative companies in the newly launched Shenzhen-Edinburgh International Creative Industries Incubation Centre, Shenzhen, China. [PDF]

China is one of the world’s fastest growing economy and a key export market for creative industry products and services from the UK.  The City of Edinburgh Council can support businesses interested in exploring this market.  We have a unique agreement with the Municipality of Shenzhen in southern China to establish joint incubators in each city for the local creative and tech companies to explore the market in the other country. Shenzhen is one of the richest of all Chinese cities. It is also China’s first UNESCO City of Design, its Silicon Valley and a maker city.  

The agreement Edinburgh has with Shenzhen will provide up to 2 years’ free incubation space as well as local support and business advice to companies interested in exploring the market in the other city/country. The Edinburgh incubator in Shenzhen is based in F518 Creative Industry Park and the space was opened on 15 May 2015. A reciprocal incubator for Shenzhen companies coming to Edinburgh will be opened in Creative Exchange in Leith in early September 2015.

Discover more about this project and the city of Shenzhen from the brochure [PDF] produced by our partners in Shenzhen, or by clicking on the image above.   

Edinburgh based companies in the creative and digital technology sectors with the ambition and capability to trade and showcase in China are invited to apply for desk space the Edinburgh incubator in Shenzhen.  To discover more about this exciting opportunity, please telephone:

Ann Marie Macaskill, City of Edinburgh Council

T: +44 (0) 131 529 3702

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