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Creative Scotland - digital connecting theme

The information in this sheet is for prospective applicants for regular funding. It provides information on what we mean by Digital, the criteria we expect you to meet and the outcomes we expect the use of digital tools to result in.

Each of the connecting themes must be embedded across the organisation and clear evidence must be given to demonstrate that the outcomes identified in the accompanying guidance can be delivered.

What do we mean by Digital?

The internet is the defining architecture of our age, and the use of digital tools and media increasingly pervasive in the way we communicate and share what it is to be human. Digital has also changed the way organisations operate and this is keenly felt across the arts, screen and creative industries where it has been both disrupter and enabler.

We are committed to supporting the arts and creative sectors to utilise all the benefits that digital tools can bring. Using new digital tools and media can change and enhance the way organisations run their operations, generate revenue, engage and broaden their audiences and influence creative practice.

We recognise that Digital is used in different ways by different organisations. However, everyone should have the capacity to take advantage of new technology and have the confidence and skills to use the ever expanding range of tools to support participation and drive innovation.

During the decision making around the RFO portfolio in Autumn 2014 it was apparent that digital engagement and leadership wasn’t articulated strongly in applications. The Scottish Government’s ambition is for Scotland to be a world-leading digital nation by 2020. Central to achieving this is ensuring that everyone has the access, motivation and skills required to participate fully in our digital world. Organisations across the arts, screen and creative industries can play a significant role in supporting this vision.

Assessment Criteria

We’re interested in how digital tools and media can support and enhance your work areas as follows:

Arts and creative practice
Engaging with and building new audiences
Development of organisations and management systems
We recognise that not all organisations will currently be able to deliver across all areas, but we expect to see a commitment in your business plan to developing in these areas as per the following critera:

Arts and Creative Practice

Is there evidence of consideration of creative technology within the organisation’s artistic practice or support of artistic practice?
Has the organisation shown evidence of a willingness to enhance its skills base either through developing relationships with technologists or through training?
Is the organisation using digital tools to document and archive its work?
Engaging with and building new audiences

Has the organisation demonstrated how it will use digital tools to connect and interact with its audiences?
Is there evidence that the organisation will use digital tools to gather audience data and information in order to understand its audiences behaviours and needs?
Development of organisations and management systems

Is the organisation using digital tools to improve efficiency?
Is the organisation using digital tools to network and connect with partners / stakeholders effectively?
Does the organisation demonstrate an understanding of how digital data can help it to understand its value and inform planning?
We appreciate that developing digital capacity will require new skills and resources to be developed within organisations. We encourage you to consider how best to achieve this within the context of your application for regular funding.

Assessors will look for evidence that these criteria have been met through looking at information provided in the relevant sections of the business plan and application material which you have submitted


World-class creative work that uses technology in imaginative new ways.
More organisations employing and / or working with technologists or programmers, or investing in the skills of existing staff.
Digitally connected audiences engaging with work in new ways.
More sustainable organisations.

Useful resources:

The Scottish Government Digital Strategy outlines the steps that are required to ensure Scotland is well placed to take full advantage of all the economic, social and environmental opportunities offered by the digital age.

Inspiration and advice on how to make and distribute great art, digitally.

Culture Republic provide tools and insights that can help Scotland’s arts and cultural organisations to identify and understand their audiences.

Basic Digital Skills Framework from Dot Everyone

Programme for Digital Participation from SCVO working with the Scottish Government

The rights of children and young people (under 18) articulated for the digital world.

Insights and research from the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts.