Creative Economy & Cultures of Production, Creativity & Cultural Labour

New Report on Dundee’s Cultural Recovery

Dr Lauren England

Dr Lauren England is delighted to announce that the final report from her research project “Dundee Cultural Recovery” has now been published and is available to download for free.

The report provides insights into the impact of the pandemic on the organisations and individual cultural workers (specifically freelancers) who make up Dundee’s cultural economy and the role of policy in supporting the city’s cultural recovery. 

The report presents key findings on Workforce, Finance, Engagement and wider Covid impacts from a survey of cultural organisations in the city and focus groups and interviews with cultural sector stakeholders. ‘Spotlight’ discussions on Freelancers and Strategy are also presented, highlighting the specific experiences of creative freelancers during the pandemic and sharing core messages on cultural strategy development. 

The report concludes with a reflection on the impact of the pandemic on Dundee as a cultural ecosystem and presents recommendations for supporting sustainable and inclusive recovery practices and policies in connection with the city’s cultural strategy and recovery plan.

The first recommendation is for cultural organisations, leaders and policymakers alike to adopt an ecological perspective – understanding and strengthening interrelationships and interdependencies between different actors and cultural resources and the opportunities they present – in designing and implementing recovery and long-term strategies.

The second recommendation is that emphasis should be placed on supporting creative workers (especially freelancers) as crucial members of the cultural and creative economy and its supply chain who are often neglected.

The third recommendation is that leaders of cultural organisations and policymakers capitalise on the city’s potential to innovate through collective action.

The research built on the work of the Cultural Development Group of the Dundee Partnership and findings from the report are directly feeding into the Covid Recovery Plan being developed by the Cultural Development Group. 

The Dundee Cultural Recovery project was a collaboration between the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design at the University of Dundee, Leisure & Culture Dundee and Dundee City Council Events Team. The research was led by Dr Lauren England while a Baxter Fellow in Creative Economies at the University of Dundee and supported by an Impact and Innovation Development Fund (2021) from the University of Dundee. With the support of Culture Counts, the report was designed by Jamie Stein, a freelance graphic designer based in Dundee.