Music in the 'Rural Creative Economy' final report now published

Heavy metal band play a small Scottish Highland venue
Alan Robertson

A report published last week by Dr Simon McKerrell as part of the Music in the Rural Creative Economy research project is now available to view online.

The work was funded between 2020 and 2022 by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Dr McKerrell is a Professor in Media and Music at Glasgow Caledonian University and has previously worked at the Universities of Newcastle, Sheffield, Glasgow and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. 

The report is the result of more than 70 interviews with musicians, venue operators, musical instrument makers, luthiers, festival organisers, arts promoters, public officials, charity officers, police, educators and tutors from across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Other outputs include a monograph, conference, panel debates and workshops in collaboration with The Touring Network.

It covers a range of themes including the importance of place-based enterprise, innovation and governance models to the rural creative economy and includes some fascinating insights from those in the sector.

Dr McKerrell said:

"There is a huge potential for growth in the creative economy of the Highlands and Islands which this report shows, depends upon place-based thinking and planning. At this moment of transition in rural Scotland, thinking about how we support individual sole traders and micro-enterprises in music and the creative sector make a sustainable living, should be at the heart of decisions about how we move forward for rural and island Scotland".

The report also explores opportunities such as digitalisation and use of community venues and partnership working.

You can access the report here