Creative industries in Northern Ireland

NI creative sector: challenges and opportunities


The creative sector is one of the fastest-growing parts of the UK economy. As such, it offers great opportunities to local Northern Ireland business, particularly in the film, TV, games and digital markets.

With today's digital technologies, NI creative businesses can easily:

  • connect to wider markets
  • find new distribution channels 
  • identify global demand for creative products and services
  • network and collaborate with other creative businesses and sectors

Read about the creative sector in Northern Ireland.

Challenges for the creative businesses

While many benefits come out of the digital advances, so does one of the major challenges for the industry - global competition. From film production to design, new international centres for creative businesses are developing rapidly across the globe, making it harder for small local businesses to enter new and emerging markets.

In addition, the lack of scale of most businesses in Northern Ireland means that the sector comprises mostly small or micro-enterprises, and sole traders. This minimises opportunities for attracting considerable inward investments, building vast supply chains and significantly boosting employment.

Other challenges facing creative businesses in Northern Ireland include:

  • poor access to finance, particularly affecting micro-businesses and SMEs
  • specialist skills and knowledge gaps
  • lack of general business skills
  • intellectual property protection and monetisation

Current Northern Ireland digital media strategy hopes to address a number of these challenges, including collaboration, innovation, internationalisation, talent, infrastructure and investment.