British Council Creative Economy

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10 October 2016

Tales of Transformation: #CreativeCitiesUK

Join us for a series of articles from Egyptian online publishing hub Progrss, digging into the unique DNA of UK creative cities and showcasing their achievements, struggles and future plans. First stop: Edinburgh


A city is shaped by many things but none give it life the way its people do. The way citizens express themselves is indicative of the way they connect with their cities, communities and culture.

As the social, political and economic impact of creative industries and culture-driven initiatives start to gain public and government attentions, the opportunities for emerging and aspiring cities to capitalize on their human and cultural resources become important for a sustainable future: While developed cities, built on industrial and finance-driven economies, struggle to adapt to an increasingly service-based global market, opportunities for creative cities are endless. 

Huge and rapidly growing metropolitan areas and the emergence of new and sometimes informal cities present some problems but, and more importantly, also present opportunities for creative planning and the establishment of new, innovative sociopolitical and cultural norms. 

With this in mind,’s #CreativeCitiesUK editorial project focuses on the creativity-driven actual and potential transformations of both new and established cities across the world, picking creative professionals, arts clusters, workforce developers, event organizers, venue management and local community leaders to dig into the unique DNA of British cities, showcasing their achievements, struggles and future plans – and how, together, they define their hometowns. The first in the series takes a look at Edinburgh and its world renowned cultural festivals which contribute over £300 million to the Scottish economy annually. With interviews with the Fringe Society, Festivals Edinburgh, Creative Edinburgh and arts collectives such Out of The Blue and LeithLate, the feature delves into the cultural scene, both independent and commercial, to find out how the city retains and capitalises on its artistic allure.

You can read the first city feature on Edinburgh here