Performing arts contributes £5.4 billion a year to UK economy

West End theatres... under threat? Photo: Alex Brenner West End theatres... under threat? Photo: Alex Brenner
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The music, performing and visual arts sector, which includes theatre, is now worth £5.4 billion a year to the UK economy, new figures from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have revealed.

The statistics are part of a wider analysis of the creative industries, which now contribute £76.9 billion to the UK economy.

This is a growth of almost 10% from 2012 to 2013, which is the most recent year available. The 10% increase is three times that of the wider UK economy during the same period.

Music, performing and visual arts, one of nine sectors included as part of the creative industries, showed a 19% increase on 2012, which is second only to product, graphic and fashion design.

The new figures also show a 46% increase in the music and performing arts sector since 2008.

Meanwhile, film, TV, video, radio and photography was worth £9.3 billion in 2013, a decrease of 5.2% on 2012. The sector as a whole however has increased by 13% since 2008.

Secretary of state for culture Sajid Javid said the contribution of the creative industries to the wider UK economy was evident to all, describing them as “one of our most powerful tools in driving growth”.

“Government is determined to continue its support for this most dynamic of sectors as part of our long-terms economic plan. The tax reliefs we’ve got in place and are extending to children’s TV and orchestras have been instrumental in attracting inward investment,” he said.

In 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.