Creative industries in Northern Ireland

Creative sector in Northern Ireland


The creative sector in Northern Ireland is diverse and covers a broad range of business activities. It takes in industries that:

  • have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent, and
  • have a potential for wealth and job creation by utilising intellectual property

Creative industries sub-sectors

There are various definitions of the sector. However, creative industries commonly include:

  • advertising
  • architecture
  • crafts
  • design and designer fashion
  • digital and entertainment media
  • film, video and photography
  • publishing
  • software and electronic publishing
  • television and radio
  • music and visual and performing arts

In Northern Ireland, employment in the creative industries accounted for around 25,000 jobs in 2017. This represented 3.1 per cent of the workforce. (Source: Creative Industries economic estimates for Northern Ireland 2019)

NI creative industries strategies

The economic strategy for Northern Ireland identifies innovation, research & development and creativity as key economic drivers for future growth.

While the Department for Communities (DfC) is the government lead for the creative industries in Northern Ireland, organisations such as the Arts Council NI and Northern Ireland Screen play a key role in supporting and nurturing the creative industries across the region.

Find out more about the DfC's strategy for the creative industries in Northern Ireland.