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Cultural sector to have 'early bounceback' post-Covid, research suggests

The arts sector is set to be worth £15.2bn to the economy by 2025

The Royal Exchange in Manchester
© University of Salford Press (CC BY 2.0)

A new report from the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) has predicted the arts sector will have a quick bounce back after Covid.

The research is also a swift rebuttal to any naysayers suggesting that arts jobs are not viable, with (on purely economic terms) the arts workforce 'on average more productive than those in sectors such as manufacturing and professional, scientific and technical activities'. In terms of numbers, this translates to an average of £72,000 GVA (gross value added) per full time equivalent worker, compared to the UK average of £56,700 GVA.

According to the report, the 'early bounceback' will come a year earlier than it would have done without the government's £1.57bn Cultural Support Package, which is set to begin being distributed by the end of the month though has come under fire for delays.

Commissioned by Arts Council England, the report highlights the vital role of the arts in rejuvenating high streets and areas of the economy, bringing visitors to city centres. In short, the arts sector is bigger than the agricultural, forestry and fishing industries combined.

In response to the report, culture secretary Oliver Dowden said: "I know that recent months have been challenging and uncertain times for the arts, culture and heritage sectors but the findings in this report are welcome news.

"Thanks to our £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund these hugely valuable sectors will be able to build back from this crisis sooner, boosting the country's economic recovery and more importantly, enriching people's lives."

While a bright future is exciting news, many venues have already ither completed or instigated redundancy consultations.

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