Chair of Arts Council England Responds To Maria Miller’s Value Speech

The Arts Council has published a 113-page dossier, backed up with evidence, that it receives government spending of less than 0.1% and produces more than four times that for the country’s gross domestic product. A statement released by Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair of Arts Council England stated;

“We welcome the Secretary of State’s acknowledgment, on behalf of the Government, that public funding of arts and culture is essential in providing seed corn investment to help attract private money. As well as arts and culture’s crucial contribution to our quality of life, this is also an industry that delivers real economic value for our country. Research that we will publish in the coming days will demonstrate that, in return for less than one tenth of one per cent of government funding, arts and culture provides half a per cent of all employment in England and is one of its top 15 export products.

“As the Secretary of State says, we do need to make the economic case. And while doing so, we won’t forget that it is not all about money. Every civilised society in man’s history has felt the need to express and enjoy itself through music, through performance, storytelling or visual works of art. We are no different and the other vital return on the government’s investment is that it enables this need to be met for many, not for the few.”

In real terms the government must realise that return on the arts is already between 4 and 7 pounds for every government pound spent. The Arts are a cash cow, generating over £800,000,000 in profit from the tourist industry and much more in real terms when taking into account the billions generated by Christie’s and Sotheby’s alone.

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