Plans for a brand-new online resource from Arts & Business Scotland have been announced. Designed like a matchmaking site for businesses, this online platform will help businesses identify and connect with the perfect arts/culture/heritage partner to help achieve their business (life) goals.

Built upon A&B’s research conducted with over 190 culture sector organisations, this platform will uncover and define opportunities and new ways for the business and culture sectors to collaborate to overcome collective challenges, including the implications of the pandemic, becoming net-zero and staff engagement needs, by connecting the right business with the right culture sector organisation.

In the wake of the pandemic, staff retention, particularly within industries such as hospitality, has been hugely impacted, with many hotels, restaurants, bars, and cafes struggling to open full time, if at all. This in turn impacts the customer base for these businesses, so even if adequate staffing levels are achieved there are no customers left to cater to.

In retail, businesses already impacted by the decline of the high-street have been further hit, so finding new ways to reach and cater to customers is now paramount. For those who have been working from home, the idea of returning to the office and re/connecting with colleagues old and new, can be daunting.

In all these situations a partnership with a culture sector organisation could provide the key to the solution. To explore the opportunities that cross sector partnerships offer, businesses are encouraged to sign up, for free, for the Culture and Business Scotland Conference 2022 taking place online on Thursday 10 February from 2pm. Over 220 participants have registered already.

David Watt, Chief Executive at Arts & Business Scotland, said: “By partnering with a theatre company a pension provider could benefit through access to free tickets for staff and/or providing staff with access to volunteering/weekend opportunities, which would lead to a happier, more stable workforce.

For new staff working at a hotel a local drama group could hold team building workshops, helping new and existing staff members to get to know each other, while providing everyone with skills to use in their new, often customer facing roles. Or a local theatre might be looking for a ‘pre theatre menu’ partner, giving a local restaurant partner access to a loyal customer base and the opportunity to grow their own. And this is just a few examples using one seficif type of culture sector organisation.

Dippy on tour

In essence with cross sector collaboration the opportunities for real, tangible business benefits is endless. It’s about looking at things creatively, which is culture sector organisations are so good at doing, and we hope this online resource will put this creativity, and the endless possibilities, on the table.”

For more on the Culture and Business Scotland Conference 2022 and to sign up visit Culture and Business Scotland Conference 2022 (

The Culture and Business Scotland Conference 2022 will feature the following speakers:

  • Chris van der Kuyl – 4J Studios
  • Sean McGrath – Entrepreneurial Scotland;
  • David Nelson & James Whiteman – SCO with Aviva Investors;
  • Marije Plaum – Rijksmuseum Amsterdam;
  • Louise MacDonald – Institute of Directors Scotland;
  • Jo Macsween – Macsween Haggis;
  • Stuart Patrick – Glasgow Chambers of Commerce;
  • More speakers to be confirmed