A new report published by Arts Council England and based on independent economic analysis, has found that the arts sector makes up 0.4 per cent of UK GDP compared with 0.1 per cent of investment. Furthermore, it reports that for every £1 of subsidy, the arts and culture sector made a £7 contribution to GDP.

The report, The contribution of the arts and culture to the national economy, was conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) and uses a methodology applied regularly by the Office for National Statistics. It comes after a recent speech by the culture secretary Maria Miller in which she stated: “In an age of austerity, when times are tough and money is tight, our focus must be on culture’s economic impact.”

Other headline figures in the 117-page report are that arts and culture businesses in the UK generated a turnover of £12.4 billion in 2011, that the sector provides 0.45 per cent of total UK employment, and that at least £856 million per annum of spending by tourists visiting the UK can be attributed directly to arts and culture.

ACE Chief Executive Alan Davey welcomed the findings, saying: “We fund arts and culture because it has a unique ability to fire our imaginations, to inspire and entertain us. The contribution culture makes to our quality of life, as a society and as individuals, will always be our primary concern.

“But at a time when public finances are under such pressure, it is also right to examine all the benefits that investment in arts and culture can bring – and to consider how we can make the most effective use of that contribution.”

Download the full report from Arts Council England’s website here.