Culture as a key to economic recovery

Published: 5 July 2021
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti

Engine of Recovery: Culture on the South Bank & Waterloo

Engine of Recovery: Culture on the South Bank & Waterloo is a new report that calls for confidence in culture as measure to boost the economy whilst revealing the economic impact of the five leading arts institutions in the area and on the wider economy.

The five big hitting arts organisations that are centred around London's South Bank and Waterloo areas are The National Theatre, Southbank Centre, Rambert, The Old Vic and Young Vic and the report shows that for every job at one of these venues, an additional two and a half jobs are created in the wider regional and national economy.

To give this some context, these five represent an estimated 8,100 full time equivalent jobs (FTE) and nationally some £510m in GVA, an economic productivity metric.

Additionally, each of the five is engaged in community projects such as the Old Vic's employability programme, Take the Lead, and / or professional support programmes such as the Young Vic's Directors Programme for early-career directors, designers, artists and producers.

The report comes from the South Bank Business Improvement District and Lambeth Council and states, “the South Bank and Waterloo cluster will play a significant role in the recovery of central London and the UK as lockdown restrictions recede. With a combination of private and public investment, this unique part of London will provide the tonic that Britain needs to bring it out of post-pandemic convalescence into good cultural and economic health, full of the creative energy for which this country is rightly known.”

To date, due to the pandemic, together the five organisations have lost in excess of £130m while receiving only £35.8m of emergency funding from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund, of which £30.6m is in the form of loans and £5.2m in grants.

Loss of jobs is estimated at 5,550 FTE and £330m of GVA.