Social and economic value of public libraries, museums, arts and sport in Northern Ireland

Museums Libraries Sport Archives Arts United Kingdom

Given the tightening fiscal environment across all regions of the UK and the stated priorities of Government in the areas of health, education and the development of the infrastructure, there is significant pressure on all departments to justify their current levels of funding. In addition, there is little appreciation outside this sector of the economic and social benefits that cultural activity (in its broadest sense) can deliver for society. In recent years, increased efforts have been made by Government in the UK to highlight the importance of the cultural sector, as outlined in a speech by Tony Blair at the Tate Modern, 2007.

?Years ago, before coming to Government, I said that we would make the arts and culture part of our ?core script?. In other words, it was no longer to be on the periphery, an add-on, a valued bit of fun when the serious work of Government was done; but rather it was to be central, an essential part of the narrative about the character of a new, different, changed Britain.?

It is within this context that DCAL commissioned PwC, as a first step, to identify the potential benefits that can arise from its four key business areas that include: sports; arts; museums; and, libraries.

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