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Arts sector contributes £5.4bn to UK economy in 2014

London's West End London's West End. Photo: Alex Brenner
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The music, performing and visual arts sector contributed £5.4 billion to the UK economy in 2014, according to the latest figures.

Published by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the report also shows that the creative industries as a whole grew at almost twice the rate of the wider economy last year.

The music, performing and visual arts sector’s contribution appears to show growth of 4% between 2013 and 2014, up from £5.2 billion. However, compared with original reporting this time last year, growth is flat. Figures have been revised downwards retrospectively for 2013 for reasons that were yet to be explained at the time of publication.

The music, performing and visual arts sector is one of nine that makes up the creative industries which, overall, grew by 8.9% in 2014 – almost double that of the economy more broadly, which grew by 4.6%. They are now worth a record £84.1 billion.

Culture minister Ed Vaizey described the creative industries as “one of the UK’s greatest success stories”.

He added: “Our creative industries are well and truly thriving and we are determined to ensure its continued growth and success.”

Advocacy body the Creative Industries Federation said it welcomed the figures, adding that they prove that the creative industries are stronger than they have ever been.

CIF chief executive John Kampfner said: “These are impressive figures and we congratulate our members and the wider sector. This success has been built not only on their talent, but on a mix of public and private investment, from arts council grants to tax credits. This shows that support and investment for the creative industries is repaid many times over.”

“However, there are still areas where the government needs to act to secure continued growth, not least by providing a proper creative education to ensure the workforce of the future,” he added.

The figures include employment findings on both the creative industries and the creative economy – which includes people working in creative jobs but outside the creative industries.

The report found that there were 2.6 million jobs in the creative economy in 2013, making up one in 12 UK jobs.

Hasan Bakhshi, director of creative economy at charity Nesta, said: “The DCMS estimates confirm that these [creative economy] jobs are growing more rapidly than other jobs and Nesta’s research has shown that they have the added attraction of being more resistant to future automation. We argue that the UK economy should create one million new creative jobs by 2030.”

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