Report finds Creative Sector employs more than 2,000 people in the North-East

Creative Spark has launched a report on the Creative Industries & Design Technology Sectors in Ireland’s North-East comprising the counties of Cavan, Louth and Monaghan. This report and supporting database of Creative Industries &Design Technology companies in the North-East was commissioned by Creative Spark in conjunction with the North East Regional Enterprise Development Plan to 2024. The study and mapping of the region’s creative industries was undertaken by Tech Ireland, the organisation that promotes the startup ecosystem on the island.

The project was funded by Enterprise Ireland. It is the first-of-its-kind mapping of creative businesses in this region. Following comprehensive research, stakeholder consultations and surveys of businesses, we have been able to identify hundreds of indigenous creative businesses across 17 distinct creative and design categories ranging from Visual Arts and Performing Arts to Architecture and Graphic Design. This data forms the basis of the report as well as a live interactive portal showcasing all businesses in the region. We believe such data will be valuable in promoting the sector, streamlining supports, encouraging regional clustering and developing a network.

 The study reveals sizable clustering in Dundalk and Drogheda, followed by Monaghan town and Cavan town. There are smaller clusters of businesses along the M1 motorway in towns like Ardee. Most businesses are scattered across the region and are predominantly owned by individual professionals and freelancers. One limitation of this study is that it does not capture freelance professionals or businesses who do not have an online presence, this is also partly to ensure strict compliance with data protection regulations. All data aggregated and compiled is publicly available information or survey data received with consent.

 The creative sector employs more than 2,000 people in the North-East. There are at least thirty large employers and technology companies that employ creative talent in product design and graphic design among others. We also mapped the percentage of skilled creative and technology workforce within these businesses. On average,40% of the workforce employed in Creative & Design businesses in the region can be identified as ‘Creatives’, and on average, 20% of the workforce employed in the Creative & Design businesses in the region can be identified as ‘tech’.

The study provides key observations and recommendations collated from the industries survey. It also presents insights from experts and leading stakeholders from the Local Enterprise Offices in the three counties, Dundalk Institute of Technology among others. It highlights that there is significant scope for digital adoption especially among freelancers. There is also scope for cross-pollination of ideas between creative professionals and technology companies in the region. The report lists major priorities for businesses including the need for market aggregation, and a site for networking. We hope this work will contribute valuable inputs to the region's development plan.  


Responding to the report:


Sarah Daly of Creative Spark said, “We see this report as a snapshot in time of the sector in this region and believe that there is a bigger story to tell in terms of employment numbers, technology adoption and development opportunities. The live portal is available to view alongside the Report and creative businesses and freelancers can add their data to the mapping process by completing an online form.”


Aidan McKenna of Enterprise Ireland said, ‘‘It is important that we recognise the value of creative thinking and problem-solving capacity in industry, and this mapping study puts a distinctive spotlight on the capability within the region.’’




Download the Report here: Ireland’s North-East Creative Industries & Design echnology Sectors

View the live portal dashboard: North-East Creative Industries & Design Technology Sectors Map

Add your business to the map: Survey Link

Creative Spark

Tech Ireland

Enterprise Ireland

Local Enterprise Office Louth

Local Enterprise Office Cavan

Local Enterprise Office Monaghan

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