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Culture sector’s contribution to UK economy leaps by £7bn

Hit shows such as The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time have helped the culture sector’s economic contribution to grow. Photo: Tristram Kenton
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Theatre, the arts and other cultural activities are now worth £27 billion to the UK economy – a third more than five years ago.

Since 2010, the culture sector’s economic contribution has grown by 33%, from £20.3 billion to £27 billion in 2015. The sector is now worth 1.6% of the UK’s entire economy, according to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The government estimates the cultural sector’s worth to the UK economy has grown by 15% alone between 2014 and 2015.

This makes it the fastest growing of any monitored by the DCMS, beating tourism (3.3%), sport (-1.5%) and the wider creative industries (7%).

The growth in the cultural sector’s contribution between 2014 and 2015 (£3.5 billion) is the highest it has been during the five-year period and is the biggest surge since 2013, when the sector’s GVA (gross value added) rose by £1.7 billion.

The cultural sector is part of the wider creative industries, while there is also significant overlap with the digital sector (worth £118.4 billion).

The cultural sector’s international exports have also risen, increasing from £27.6 billion in 2013 to £31.8 billion in 2014. This makes up 2.5% of the UK’s total exports.

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