New Report Says Arts and Culture Influence Where We Live

Hull was the UK’s City of Culture in 2017 and findings show it positively changed perspectives of the city.

New Report Says Arts and Culture Influence Where We Live

Arts Council document examines how culture can attract and retain people and businesses.

The Arts Council of England has just published a report that examines the effect that arts and culture have had on people and businesses in the areas of Birmingham, Halifax, Hastings, Redruth, Southampton and Stoke-on-Trent.

Using surveys of local residents, businesses and organisations, including local councils, the report, titled The Value of Arts and Culture in Place-shaping, looks into how the arts can create desirable places to live, attract people to live and work, and support economic growth and business investment. 

Findings from the report highlight that arts and culture can influence a person’s willingness to remain residing in an area, or to move to an area, with 44% in favour of remaining in an area due to its arts and cultural offerings and 44% would consider this when moving to a new area. For context, in terms of education, 43% would either remain in or move to an area due to its schools. 

65% of people believe that arts and culture are beneficial to health and wellbeing, and people who regularly attend arts and cultural events are more satisfied with their lives.

68% think that arts and culture is very important for a sense of community, while 73% believe that a sense of community is a significant pull factor in living in an area. 

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England, said:

These figures demonstrate that people value arts and culture and that the opportunity to visit a theatre or listen to music or borrow a book from a local library is as important a factor in their choice of where to live as the availability of good schools. By supporting our cultural sector we create happier, more vibrant communities where people are proud to live and work

During the study, which was carried out by Wavehill, reference was also made to cities that have been involved with the European Capital of Culture or the UK Cities of Cultures programmes. Evidence from Hull’s experience as UK City of Culture in 2017 suggests that the programme has positively changed perspectives of the city and generated £22 million for the local economy. 

The full report can be read below. For more, visit

Published on 28 August 2019


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