It’s paying to invest in arts and culture.

Arts and culture in this country is proving a better economic investment than things like health and the retail service sectors.

Jacob's Ladder by David Mach in the South Transept of Bath Abbey
Jacob’s Ladder by David Mach in the South Transept of Bath Abbey

That’s according to an independent report commissioned by the Arts Council and conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). It is the first comprehensive analysis to determine this value to the modern economy on a national scale.

The key findings include:

– arts and culture make up 0.4 per cent of GDP – a significant return on the less than 0.1 per cent of government spending invested in the sector
– arts and culture is a sector of significant scale with a turnover of £12.4 billion and a GVA of £5.9 billion in 2011

Stringed Figure 1938  Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London. © The Henry Moore Foundation
Stringed Figure 1938
Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London. © The Henry Moore Foundation. Currently at the Victoria Gallery in Bath.

– arts and culture generate more per pound invested than the health, wholesale and retail, and professional and business services sectors.
– the arts and culture sector provides 0.45 per cent of total UK employment and 0.48 per cent of total employment in England.
– at least £856 million per annum of spending by tourists visiting the UK can be attributed directly to arts and culture
– the economic contribution of the arts and cultural sector has grown since 2008, despite the UK economy as a whole remaining below its output level before the global financial crisis