Bob Last’s Working Paper is a new departure for this series, writes Philip Schlesinger, Chair of the Editorial Board. It is being co-published with Cultural Enterprise Office (CEO), a cultural business support agency located in Glasgow. As readers will see, Bob Last undertook the research for this paper when he chaired the CEO Board, and was then particularly interested in the question of access to finance for those engaged in creative work. The study itself, financed by the Scottish Government, mutated in the course of investigation to become an analysis of the tensions between economic and aesthetic calculations made by those working across a range of art forms and evolved into an argument for rethinking the bases of creative industries policy. Aside from interrogating received ideas, then, the author has interviewed a range of creative practitioners, whose voices come through loud and clear. This Working Paper therefore complements 16/06, written by Ealasaid Munro, which gives voice to those in creative work directly researched by CREATe’s own teams.
Bob Last is a film producer and has also had long-standing experience of the music business. He is an insider who has taken time out to write an analysis of his world. It is only fitting, therefore, that his work is published under the auspices of our Industrial Fellowship Programme, following Working Paper 16/05 by Jeremy Silver. As it happens, publication of Bob’s work is especially noteworthy because to date it has circulated only to a few and has in effect, remained largely private. Until now, the only event to explore this research was held at the University of Glasgow under the auspices of the Centre for Cultural Policy Research on 9 November 2015. CREATe is therefore especially delighted to make it public and extremely grateful to Cultural Enterprise Office for its collaboration.