Investing in culture will build Britain’s social and economic recovery 25 Mar 2010

Press Release

Date of issue: 25 March 2010


Today Britain's leading cultural and heritage organisations have joined together for the first time to launch their vision for the future in the document, Cultural Capital: A Manifesto for the Future.
The publication shows how investing in culture and heritage can help Britain's social and economic recovery from recession. It demonstrates with facts and figures that a fifteen-year period of investment has created a public appetite for culture that continues to grow, and that the arts, heritage, museums, libraries and archives make a strong contribution to the economic and social wellbeing of Britain.

The UK has the largest cultural economy in the world relative to GDP. Every £1 invested in culture produces £2. Two thirds of the adult population in the UK enjoy the arts, visit historic sites and go to museums and galleries. Of the top 10 UK visitor attractions, 8 are national museums. 

The manifesto argues that a reduction of public investment would make poor economic sense. With the eyes of the world on Britain during the Olympic year, 2012, it shows that it is essential that our cultural institutions and attractions remain fit for purpose. The cultural sector can make a real contribution to social and economic recovery through offering work, learning, training and social engagement.

It shows that arts and heritage have already contributed: the Olympics are taking a total of £2.2 billion from the National Lottery, approximately 20% of the money available for good causes between 2005 and 2012. The arts and heritage are losing £322.4 million. The Heritage Lottery Fund is losing £161.2 million, a reduction of around 7.8%, the four arts councils and two film councils are losing another £161.2 million. Over the last twelve years, English Heritage has lost £130m in grant-in-aid.

The manifesto demonstrates that it is essential to sustain the success of the cultural sector, which represents the creative capital that feeds our flourishing creative industries, inspires and educates young people, and makes Britain a number one international destination for cultural tourism. "Culture is the catalyst for change" the document argues.

Cultural Capital: A Manifesto for the Future has been produced in association with the following national organisations: Arts Council England, Association of Independent Museums, Cultural Learning Alliance, English Heritage, The Heritage Alliance, Heritage Lottery Fund, local Government Association. Museums Association, Museums Libraries and Archives Council, National Campaign for the Arts, National Heritage Memorial Fund, National Museum Directors' Conference, Society of Archivists, Society of Chief Librarians, The Art Fund, The National Archives and Visit England.

Press Enquiries

Erica Bolton

Bolton & Quinn Ltd

Tel: 020 7221 5000

Mobile: 07711 698 186

Email: [email protected]