Culture & Business Marketplace Scotland initiative set to elevate relationship between Scottish business and culture

Left to Right: Nicola Cruickshank, Marketing Assistant at Ocean Terminal; Heather Robertson, Living Memory Association Manager; Caroline Kaye, volunteer at Living Memory Association; and Tommy McCormick, Culture & Business Scotland Fund Manager

A PIONEERING Marketplace initiative launching tomorrow (May 17) is set to transform the relationship between businesses and culture organisations across Scotland. 

The Culture & Business Marketplace Scotland is the first-of-its-kind online platform that will match up businesses looking to expand their creative horizons with culture organisations seeking support in delivering their creative ideas.  A range of Scottish creative organisations have already committed to participating in the Marketplace pilot, including household names such as the Scottish Book Trust, Scottish Ensemble, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Screen Education Edinburgh.  

Launching tomorrow (Wednesday May 17) the platform will work similarly to a database, where these pilot not-for-profit culture organisations will be able to list their products or services as ‘sellers’. Businesses, or potential ‘buyers’, will then browse the available opportunities using filters such as ‘supporting innovation, creative thinking and problem solving in the workplace’ and ‘improving staff health and wellbeing’ to find culture organisations that would be well-suited to fit a gap, combat an existing challenge or fulfil a specific target.  

David Watt, CEO of Culture & Business Scotland, said: “Past experiences have shown us that giving businesses and culture organisations the opportunity to forge meaningful connections is hugely empowering, not only for those organisations involved but for wider society as well, and the impacts have the potential to reverberate for generations to come. The launch of our Marketplace initiative will increase those opportunities, both in number and in scope, and help to ensure that organisations from both sectors are equipped for a more innovative, forward-thinking future.” 

Being given the opportunity to connect and receive backing from businesses can be transformational for creative organisations. In 2021 the Edinburgh-based Living Memory Association partnered with Leith’s Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre through Culture & Business Scotland’s already established match-funding scheme, the C&BS Fund, a precursor to the Marketplace initiative.  

The funding enabled Living Memory Association to make use of two vacant units as exhibition spaces. The initial offering of two units grew to include the use of a whole empty 6000 square metre store across two floors, which the Living Memory Association used to facilitate reminiscence as a means of engaging people with heritage, recording their memories and combatting loneliness and social isolation in the process.  

The community-focussed nature of Ocean Terminal’s location enabled the organisation to reach a wider audience than would have otherwise been possible, raising the Living Memory Association’s profile and creating a positive snowball effect, as it was then able to attract further funding and opportunities. Ocean Terminal, meanwhile, benefitted from the increased footfall into what would have otherwise been an abandoned space, with the resulting added social value surpassing expectations and generating positive impacts in ways that the retail centre had previously not experienced. 

Mark Haywood, Living Memory Association Director, said: “This has been a phenomenal partnership for The Living Memory Association and investment from Culture & Business Scotland made it possible. It has raised the profile of The Living Memory Association, led us into new areas of work and allowed us to support a whole range of fascinating artistic and heritage endeavour. It has meant we can support individuals and groups to showcase and develop their work and bring them into direct contact with the public. We have used the new units to engage people and work with older people to record their memories and value their life experience. All activities are free, taking art and heritage straight into the heart of the community. We are extremely grateful to Culture & Business Scotland and Ocean Terminal for their support to our work”.  

Michelle MacLeod, Ocean Terminal Manager, added: “We could not have believed that this partnership would be so socially and economically beneficial to The Centre and we hope to be able to further develop this collaboration going into the future and incorporating this work into the new developments currently underway at Ocean Terminal.” 

Funding facilitated by Culture & Business Scotland has also enabled creative organisations to make scientific ideas accessible through the arts, as Edinburgh Science Foundation discovered after being partnered with Cirrus Logic through the C&BS Fund.  

As a leading global semiconductor supplier, Cirrus Logic’s commitment to promoting science, technology, engineering, and maths amongst young people underpins the company’s support of the Edinburgh Science Festival. Last year, sponsorship from Cirrus Logic enabled the creation of several new activities at the festival, helping to encourage awareness about Scottish flora and fauna through a photography exhibition and multi-sensory, immersive experiences which incorporated visual and artistic elements. 

Subsequent analysis of the event found that its messaging around climate change and the natural world impacted on visitors’ behaviour and attitudes, whilst Cirrus Logic benefitted from the comprehensive marketing and publicity activity surrounding the festival.  

For more information on the Culture & Business Marketplace Scotland, please visit  

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