Arts Council England publishes new report which shows that Greater Manchester’s arts and culture sector is the largest in the North

Date published: 07 July 2019


Thursday 4 July 2019 marked the publication of an Arts Council England commissioned report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).  The report, which covers the period 2011 to 2016, has found that the arts and culture sector in Greater Manchester is the largest in the North.  

The Economic Value of Arts and Culture in the North of England report has also found that the Greater Manchester arts and culture sector contributed £434 million Gross Value Added (GVA) to the Northern Economy in 2016, a 63% increase from 2011.

Greater Manchester has the largest number of people employed in the arts and culture sector in the North - 3,974 people - which equates to nearly half of all people employed in the arts and culture sector in the North West.  

The commissioned report by Arts Council England focuses on economic trends in the arts and culture sector in the North, including cultural tourism, from 2011 to 2016.

It looks at a wider impact arts and culture has on other sectors across the North as well as external factors on place making, regeneration, wellbeing and communities. The report also considers the impact of public funding including investment from Arts Council England. 

Pete Massey, Arts Council England’s Director for Northern Economy and Partnerships said: “In the lead up to the world-famous Manchester International Festival, it is no surprise to find that Greater Manchester’s arts and cultural sector is thriving and is making a significant contribution to the North’s economy.

“It’s great that culture is being seen as an important resource for the city region; not only impacting directly on the economic health of the area, but also making a significant contribution to the visitor economy, making Greater Manchester towns better places to live and, of course, contributing to the wellbeing of local communities.

"With the Northern Powerhouse investment in The Factory, our investment in areas like Bolton supporting the refurbishment of the Octagon Theatre and the new Local Industrial Strategy acknowledging the role of creativity and culture, the future looks bright.”

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