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Arts Index England 2007–2014

January 25, 201725 January 2017

Arts indicators / Well-being

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This report attempts to provide a “health check” for the arts in England. Between 2007/08 and 2013/14, the overall arts index increased from 99 to 111. Most of the increase in the index occurred between 2007 and 2011.

The report highlights changes in 20 equally-weighted national indicators in seven broad groups. Financial indicators have been adjusted for inflation, and almost all indicators are relative to the overall population.

  • Public funding decreased from the initial index value of 88 in 2007 to 70 in 2013. In particular, arts funding from the national Treasury decreased significantly in recent years. Lottery funding increased substantially during this timeframe, but local government funding decreased.
  • Non-government income has decreased somewhat due to decreases in business contributions and individual giving. On the other hand, earned revenues and foundation contributions have increased.
  • There has been an increase in the percentage of adults volunteering in the arts but no change in the percentage of students pursuing higher education in the creative arts.
  • The financial reserves of nationally-funded arts organizations increased between 2007 and 2014. In the latter part of this timeframe, these reserves decreased.
  • The attendance and participation indicators, as a group, increased between 2007 and 2013, but this change was driven almost entirely by an increase in digital participation in the arts. Live arts attendance remained relatively steady between 2007 and 2013.
  • In terms of quality, the report notes that the percentage of adults reporting their most recent arts experience as high quality increased from 57% in 2007 to 64% in 2012 (the most recent year available for this indicator).
  • The “financial output” group, including indicators such as economic impact, employment in the arts and entertainment, and arts organization expenditures, increased between 2007 and 2013. The largest increases were seen in the economic impact and employment indicators.

Based on these findings, the report concludes that “the arts are playing their part in feeding the economy and providing employment, while arts organisations are become increasingly entrepreneurial. The arts are no less popular, although audiences on average may be paying more.”

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