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Arts Council report says culture sector contributes £5.9billion to UK economy

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Arts Council England (ACE) has published an independent report claiming that the arts and culture sector provides a "significant return" on the government subsidy it receives.

The report, conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, says that arts and culture make up 0.4 per cent of GDP, despite receiving less than 0.1 per cent of government spending.

It states that "the arts and culture is a sector of significant scale", with a turnover of £12.4 billion and a GVA (gross value added) of £5.9 billion in 2011.

Other key findings were that arts and culture generate more per pound invested than the health, wholesale and retail, and professional and business services sectors. The sector also provides 0.45 per cent of total UK employment and 0.48 per cent of total employment in England.

One of its major contributions is the boost to tourism added by areas such as the West End of London. At least £856 million per annum of spending by tourists visiting the UK can be attributed directly to arts and culture.

The report also found that "the greatest contributor to the overall funding of the industry... has been and still is earned income". This has led, it added, to a "pincer movement effect" on the sector in the aftermath of the financial crisis, of reduced consumer expenditure and reduced public funding.

Responding to the report, which comes after Culture Secretary Maria Miller asked the arts to make clear their "economic benefits", ACE chief executive Alan Davey said: "With this report we can confidently confirm the impressive scale of the arts and culture industry and its distinctive strengths and contribution. It is an undeniably vibrant sector with strong links to the wider economy and a key part of our economic future."

Read the full report and Alan Davey's full response here


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