ACE report shows economic value of arts

ACE report shows economic value of arts

An independent analysis of the economic value of public investment in arts and culture, published by Arts Council England, shows the sector generates a "significant" return on government spending.

The analysis, by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) shows that arts and culture - including book publishing as well as theatre, dance, visual arts and music, plus museums - has a turnover of £12.8bn and makes up 0.4% of GDP. CEBR's analysis counts this as a "significant" return on the less than 0.1% of government spending invested in the sector.

Arts and culture also generate more per pound invested than the health, wholesale and retail, and professional and business services sectors, according to CEBR. The sector also provides 0.45% of total UK employment, and 0.48% of total employment in England.

At last £856m per annum of tourist spending can be attributed directly to arts and culture, the report found.

And far from weakening, the economic contribution of the arts and cultural sector has grown since 2008 despite the drop in output of the UK economy as a whole.

ACE chief executive Alan Davey said: "We fund arts and culture because they have a unique ability to fire our imaginations, to inspire and entertain us. The contribution culture makes to our quality of life, as a society and as individuals, will always be our primary concern.

"But at a time when public finances are under such pressure, it is also right to examine all the benefits that investment in arts and culture can bring - and to consider how we can make the most effective use of that contribution."

Davey said he was grateful to CEBR for its "comprehensive and enlightening report" and was "gratified that it quantifies what we have long understood."

In a speech last month, culture secretary Maria Miller insisted that the arts must be valued on their economic contribution.

The full report is available on the Arts Council England website.