Assessing the direct impact of the UK arts sector

Engagement with the arts has broader impact which can be measured in three ways: Impact on the UK economy, impact on individuals, and impact on communities.

People in the United Kingdom engage with the arts on a massive scale. A 2023 survey by DCMS found that some 91 percent of UK adults had done so at least once, in one way or another, during the previous 12 months. Seventy-four percent had attended an arts event such as an exhibition or a theatre performance, for example.1 (The sidebar “Mass engagement” gives a more detailed breakdown.)

Such figures attest to the intrinsic value of the arts. People engage with them because of their ability to entertain, stimulate the senses, and trigger a wide range of emotional responses, from enjoyment and awe to anger and fear. This is the basic premise of art and the primary benefit of engagement.

Recently, the London School of Economics (LSE) conducted a survey asking participants to rank 42 different activities by the relative perceived value they contributed to the participants’ lives. The LSE equated this value with the degree of happiness these activities confer. Being sick in bed, queueing, and commuting were among those with a high negative value. Attending the theatre, singing, and visiting museums were among the most positively valued—second only to sports and intimacy

Read full report here


* indicates required

XpoNorth will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.