The Arts & Culture Impact
Latest figures on economic contribution, published recently by Arts Council England, show the arts and culture industry has grown by £390million in one year, and contributes £10.8billion to UK economy.
Commissioned from the Centre for Economic and Business Research, the report shows that:
- Arts and culture’s economic contribution is now higher than the UK agricultural sector’s £10.085billion, and roughly equal to that of cities such as Liverpool and Sheffield;
- The sector contributes £2.8billion a year to the Treasury via taxation, and generates a further £23billion a year and 363,700 jobs through supply chains and spending by employees;
- Productivity in the arts and culture industry between 2009 and 2016 was greater than that of the economy as a whole, with gross value added per worker at £62,000 for arts and culture, compared to £46,800 for the wider UK economy.
Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England said “Latest figures show arts and culture is a thriving industry delivering huge benefits for our economy. Public investment in the arts is fuelling local regeneration across the country, pushing skills and talent to the commercial sector, and driving the world class reputation of our creative industries.”
The report also finds that there are various spill-over benefits of the arts and culture industry beyond the immediate economic impact, with arts organisations supplying skills and talent to the commercial creative sector and playing an important role in local regeneration:
- Arts and cultural organisations frequently form part of a wider creative economy fuelling regeneration in an area. 69% of surveyed organisations feel that they are part of a ‘creative cluster’ in their local area, 52% are involved in local regeneration networks and 46% have had buildings regenerated as a direct result of their actions;
- 82% of surveyed organisations reported that they provide support for local artists and businesses, helping recipients to develop skills that make them more productive and employable in the commercial creative industries.
It’s a positive story and yet it does come with a health warning as one of the biggest challenges facing arts organisations continues to be local authority cuts, with libraries, museums and the arts often in the front line and the report revealing that 74% of arts organisations had been affected by public funding cuts. Alongside that, the well-publicised marginalisation of the arts in schools means the ‘talent pipeline’ for the future is at risk and many young people (and their parents) do not see the creative economy as the viable proposition it is for future careers.
However, Sir Nicolas Serota was upbeat, explaining how the report illustrated how important a subsidised arts sector was in feeding in the commercial sector and how public investment in arts and culture “repays itself over and over again.
“It shows a very steady increase in the place of arts and culture in the economy as a whole. It is growing and it is growing much faster than the rest of the economy.”