The music, performing and visual arts sector (including theatre), is now worth £5.4 billion a year in contributing to the UK economy, new figures from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have revealed. It is clear here that performing arts have a huge value for the UK as a whole, let alone every individual which engages with the arts. The statistics are part of a wider analysis of the creative industries, which now contribute £76.9 billion to the UK economy.
The contribution is a growth of almost 10% from 2012 to 2013, which is the most recent year available to reference. The 10% increase is three times that of the wider UK economy during the same period, demonstrating how vital the arts are, not just culturally but socially too. Music, performing and visual arts, one of nine sectors included as part of the creative industries, showed a 19% increase on 2012. The new figures also show a 46% increase in the music and performing arts sector since 2008.
Secretary of state for culture, Sajid Javid, has acknowledged the contribution of the creative industries to the wider UK economy as being evident to all, and it is hoped his influence is spread wide across the UK government. The creative industries are perhaps “one of our most powerful tools in driving growth”, remarked Javid, engaging young children and sparking an interest in them. Javid also maintained that the “government is determined to continue its support for this most dynamic of sectors as part of our long-terms economic plan, [and] children’s TV and orchestras have been instrumental in attracting inward investment”.
In terms of UK employment, the creative industries accounted for 1.7 million jobs in 2013, which is 5.6% of total UK jobs and an increase of 1.4% on the previous year. Here we can clearly see the value of the arts which continues to increase.