ACE predicts early bounceback for arts

Arts Council England is forecasting a recovery for the arts and cultural sector a year earlier than originally predicted.

The sector has been devastated by the pandemic this year, losing 23% of its Gross Value Added (GVA), but new research commissioned from the Centre for Economic and Business Research and published today indicates that the government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund will enable the sector to return to its pre-Covid value of £13.5bn by 2022, ACE says, with its GVA boosted by £1.4bn. It shows that by 2025 arts and culture could be worth £15.2bn.

At the same time research published today by Metro Dynamics shows the arts and culture “acts as an R&D lab for the creative industries”, the wider sector including the film and digital industries which in 2018 contributed £111.7bn in GVA. IT said the arts was “encouraging experimentation and in turn driving innovation and commercial activity”.

The 2018 value of arts and culture to the UK economy of £13.5bn was up from £12.8 bn in 2017, contributing £3.4bn in tax.

“These figures demonstrate that, beyond the value of the arts to the lives of people across the country, the cultural sector is an economic force in its own right, as well as an essential pipeline for talent and ideas into the wider creative industries – one of our fastest growing sectors before the pandemic” said ACE’s chair, Nicholas Serota (pictured).

“By investing through the Culture Recovery Fund the government is helping to protect the sector, ensuring that it can bounce back more quickly and play a vital role in the national recovery as we emerge from the pandemic.” 

Jobs in the arts, where 233,000 have been employed, are on average more productive than those in manufacturing and professional, scientific and technical activities, with an average of £72,000 GVA per full time equivalent worker, compared to the UK average of £56,700. The multiplier effect of the arts and culture also supported another £28.9bn of GVA, the report says, and 454,000 full time equivalent jobs. 

The full set of research is available here.


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