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NGCV packs an economic punch!

12th November 2017

In 2016-17 the total economic contribution of NGCV organisations collectively to the regional economy was £95m, according to the latest independent Economic Impact Assessment from ERS. This demonstrates the importance of cultural organisations to the North East as part of the creative economy, supporting employment, procurement and generating additional visitor spend in the region amongst other things.

This year’s report shows that:

  • Our total economic contribution was £94.9m Gross Value Added
  • Our return on investment is £5.01 for every £1 of public money spent
  • We supported 2,091 full time jobs in the region and created 2.4 new full time jobs for every 10 in NGCV
  • We welcomed 4m attenders to our cultural events
  • We earned £41.7m e.g. from cultural activities and contracts, retail, catering, parking and conferences
  • We procured goods and services in the region worth £24.9m, supporting 125 indirect full time jobs
  • We generated an additional £20.4m visitor spend in NewcastleGateshead and £8.5m across the North East economy

Why it is important to demonstrate our economic contribution

Kate Edwards, Chair of NGCV and Chief Executive of Seven Stories, said: “It is important to show the cultural sector’s economic impact and how much we contribute to the regional economy.  We are all not-for-profit businesses and charities, as well as cultural institutions and we pride ourselves on operating effective businesses and being able to provide employment and progression routes through the sector, as well as ongoing training for our workforce.  We also offer work based learning, training and volunteering opportunities, which can help inspire and engage people of all ages, abilities and interests.”

The annual report provides the hard economic impacts, which are calculated in line with Treasury Green Book guidelines by ERS, who has been carrying out our economic impact assessments annually since 2009.

Declan Baharini, Partnership Co-ordinator, works with the Finance leads in all 10 organisations to pull together the information for the report annually.  She said, “It is a lot of work for organisations each year, but being able to demonstrate our collective economic impact is very important.  All the organisations are also able to get their own individual reports, which can be useful to share with Boards, funders, wider partners and the public."

Wider impacts

Outside of the economic impact assessment, we know that we do have a wider social, economic and cultural impact in the area:

Every year, across the 10 organisations we support an average of 2,000 artists, cultural practitioners and educators through our professional development, talent development and business support programmes, helping to build a more sustainable cultural sector with a focus on excellence.  

In addition, we provide a range of work experience, apprenticeships, training and learning opportunities for people of all ages, who may not otherwise have the chance to gain skills, knowledge and experience and who get so much benefit from their involvement, just as we benefit from our engagement with them. 

Volunteering is an important activity and in 2016-17, 869 volunteers gave 52,345 hours of their time to support NGCV organisations. Some participate as a way to progress to education, training or work, others engage as a way of giving back to the community and to share their passion for culture. We are grateful to all those who give their time to support us.

We supported 935,129 learning and participation engagements (610,776 children and 324,353 adults) in 2016-17.  This is an important part of our work and we advocate and promote active participation in culture for all our communities, the lifelong impact of participation in cultural activities and creativity at the heart of lifelong learning.  This can include anything from film making, to learning to play an instrument or singing in a choir, from theatre workshops to creative writing and science experiments. 

Our 10 organisations also raised £3m in additional project funding in 2016-17 for cultural activities beyond core programmes, including outreach, learning and participation and special projects.These programmes and projects often aim to maximise the social impact of the area’s cultural assets for the benefit of hard to reach, vulnerable and marginalised individuals, groups and communities. 

These can include young people who are not in education, employment or training, those in care or care leavers, ex-offenders, people with mental health problems, older people who may have significant health or mental health issues, as well as being at risk of isolation, people with disabilities, carers, people with drug or alcohol problems and a wide range of others who are all engaged proactively through arts, culture, science and heritage activities, directly and through partnership working.

The impact of their engagement can be life-changing and long-term, building confidence and aspirations and inspiring people to make positive changes in their lives.  It can bring enjoyment and enthusiasm and improve people’s quality of life in a very significant way. 

The next Economic Impact Assessment will be for 2017-18 and will be due in November 2018