Arts Council Publish Data Report

Digest of Arts Statistics highlights the importance of the arts to the Northern Ireland economy

The impact of the arts on Northern Ireland’s social and economic regeneration has been described in a comprehensive new publication by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. The Digest of Arts Statistics captures data on consumption, employment, public expenditure and income generated by the arts sector.

Arts Council director of strategic development, Nick Livingston, explained the relevance of the publication in light of the Spending Review: 'A key priority for government centres on growing a dynamic, innovative economy. This represents a considerable challenge given the current economic downturn, but it also places an onus on public bodies to produce the evidence of key outputs and outcomes.

'In pursuit of this objective we have brought together the Digest of Arts Statistics: a single source compendium that paints the regional picture through data on the cultural and creative sector and its importance to the economy as a whole.

The aim of the Digest is to provide a reliable source of data reflecting current arts based activities that provides concrete evidence not only of the significant contribution the arts are making to one of government’s key priority areas but also describes the wider impacts of the arts within society.'

One aspect of the cultural landscape described in the Digest is the value of business investment in the arts and the partnerships that have connected the commercial and cultural worlds. Closer private and public partnerships are increasingly important during the economic downturn.

'The arts and business worlds are increasingly recognising the benefits of working together,' added Livingston. 'Strengthening this partnership is particularly important in the current financial climate. However, it is vitally important that government maintains its investment because this provides the anchor that enables arts organisations to lever private sector investment.'

The Arts Council is the lead development agency for the arts in Northern Ireland. It is the main support for artists and art organisations throughout the region, offering a broad range of funding opportunities through its Treasury and National Lottery funds. Click here to download the Arts Council's Annual Review and Digest of Arts Statistics.