Regional funding of creative expertise reflects current trends

Traditional cultural industries such as music and film only receive a small percentage of regional structural funds. Creative and Inclusive Finland's report "Enhancing creative expertise and inclusion for young. Regional structural funds projects 2014–2016" shows that the game industry bites a lion's share of funds channeled to regional development in Finland.

The report focuses on structural funds projects under the thematic umbrella of creative expertise and skills for inclusion that received funding in 2014–2016. Of the overall financing allocated from the structural funds, the share for creative expertise was 22.7 million euro, equaling 4.4 % of the total amount of EU and national structural funds.

The largest share of funding in the entire sphere of creative expertise, one fith, went to the game industry, followed by sports, design, print publishing and leisure projects. Music, film and visual arts were clearly at the bottom end of the list.

“The allocation of funds reflects the general public discussion which assumes that games, design and applied arts have more growth potential than other creative branches. On the other hand, the more traditional cultural industries have their own, established funding channels and thus have not recogniced the structural funds as a potential source for development funding”, says Jutta Jaakkola, Project Manager of Creative and Inclusive Finland.

The report shows that there are notable differences between the regions. The top recipients of funding for creative expertise were the regions of Kymenlaakso, Päijänne Tavastia and Lapland. In these regions the share for creative expertise projects ranges between 8 and 10 percent.

"In those regions, where the market for creative industries is otherwise small, the structural funds work as mediator for the utilisation of creative expertise. The significance of creative expertise is continuosly growing also outside of the creative industries as immaterial services and products account for an ever greater share of the value created in all industries", Jaakkola says.

Skills for inclusion is just a small slice of the ESF funding pie

In the report we have compiled under the theme of skills for inclusion culture, art, sports and organisational projects that involve young people. The total funding for the 21 skills for inclusion projects is 3.3 million euro. Both the number of projects and the funding take up a very small slice of the total ESF funding for projects targeted at young people. The civil society's role in preventing the outcasting of young people is very small in the context of structural funds.

”If the aim is to emphasise the role of the civil society in the field of promoting the welbeing and social inclusion of young people, this is not visible in regional project funding”, says Regional Coordinator Kirsi Siltanen, the author of the report.

Due to the upcoming health, social services and regional government reform, the roles of the different public authority institutions as facilitators of citizens' inclusion and creative activities are in transformation. During this shift it is vital that the representatives of public authority have information and a vision on how funds are allocated. The report uncovers that, for the time being, the actions do not entirely correspond to the objectives.


The report is a part of the regional networking activities of Creative and Inclusive Finland. We are the umbrella over the national ESF-funded projects that advance the employment of people in the culture and creative sectors and promote the inclusion of youth though the learning of new skills. We also strive to offer new horizons to the promotion of creative expertise and skills for inclusion.


Read and download the whole report here

More information about the EU structural funds in Finland


Further information

Regional Coordinator Kirsi Siltanen, , +358 50 577 2934
Project Manager Jutta Jaakkola, , +358 40 700 6275