Our main manifesto ask:

We pledge to the people of Wales increased and maintained Investment in Art & Culture because

Investment in Art & Culture = Better Education, Health, Equality & Prosperity in Wales = A Better Quality of Life for All


What kind of society do we want to live in and how do we make that a reality?

A recent LGA publication states that opportunities to experience the arts
are hallmarks of:

·         sustainable communities, in which citizens are healthy,
law-abiding and engaged in civic life.

Thriving and excellent arts attract:

·         visitors and have economically valuable spin-offs precisely because they are
something many people want to enjoy

·         70% of adults and 97% per cent of
young people attend arts events.

We believe that art and culture needs to be an unquestionable right of every Welsh citizen from the cradle to the grave along with State Education and Health.

The arts and culture enhance every aspect of our lives: the vibrancy of our cities, the identity of our rural communities, the future prospects of our children, the quality of our democracy, the sustainability of our environment, the employability of our workforce, our economy, our ability to make sense of our own experiences and to empathise with others.


State investment in the arts delivers benefits beyond just providing high-quality entertainment.

Access to art and culture creates:


·         informed and engaged citizens

·         better health and wellbeing

·         increased community cohesion

·         economic regeneration

·         higher attainment in education

·         improved employability of our workforce.


Let’s put this into context: Wales spend on arts and culture is less than 0 .1% of total government spend and yet the return on that investment is felt across Wales and the arts is used to tackle, with great success, everything from dementia care to poverty to social exclusion and raising literacy targets

Germany’s spend on culture is 1.67% of the total, Latvia is 1.86%, Sweden is 2.6% and Estonia is 3.21%.  


1.Learning through arts and culture improves attainment in all subjects

“Our analysis of the NELS:88 survey established, for the first time in any comprehensive way, that students involved in the arts are demonstrably doing better in school than those who are not” Catterall, Doing Well and Doing Good by Doing Art, 2009

For example at age 16 41% of students from low income families who engage in the arts score in the top two quartiles of standard academic tests compared to 25% of students from the same backgrounds who do not(4). Other studies echo these results with Ruppert finding that students who take arts classes have higher math and verbal SAT scores than students who take no arts classes(5).

2.Participation in structured arts activities increases cognitive abilities

The CASE review found across a range of high quality evidence that taking part in structured arts activities could increase children’s cognitive abilities test scores by 16% and 19% on average.

3.Students from low income families who take part in arts activities at school are three times more likely to get a degree

Using the NELS:88 cohort study in the US Catterall has found that at age 26 students from low socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds with high levels of arts involvement were nearly three times as likely to have earned BA degrees (about 18 percent versus 6 percent), more than twice as likely to have earned associate degrees, and nearly three times as likely to have earned masters or higher degrees

4.Employability of students who study arts subjects is higher and they are more likely to stay in employment

“When employability is controlled for the number of years spent in school, young people that studied arts subjects tend to have higher employability and are more likely to maintain employment than those that did not study arts subjects. In addition, young people who took 2 or more arts subjects at standard grade tend to have a higher rate of employment than those who took only 1 arts subject (1)” DTZ, Arts and Employability, 2006

This increase in employability is logical. We know from the CASE programme that structured arts activity leads to increases in transferable skills of 10-17%(2) and findings from the Centre for the Economics of Education at LSE show that transferrable skills improve labour market outcomes(3).


5.Students who engage in the arts at school are twice as likely to volunteer and are 20% more likely to vote as young adults

Students from low income families who engage in the arts at school are twice as likely to volunteer and are 20% more likely to vote as young adults


What Next? as a movement rather than a trade association, is unable to directly lobby for specific manifesto policies. But we broadly coalesce around the following areas:


We need :

·        sustainable funding to support our work and increase access to culture.


·        greater leadership from Government.

Policy solutions that will help the arts







Culture is facing a “triple whammy” funding crisis, with core funding, local authority funding and private giving all having seriously declined. Local Authorities across Wales have reduced their net expenditure on arts development and support. All intelligence suggests that culture budgets, and in particular arts budgets, will be disproportionately affected.

We cannot plan for the future without the security of knowing where our funding will come from at least five years into the future. The cuts that are being made now will be felt in 2045. Making major changes to or being overly critical of the Arts Council will do nothing to help us.

We know there is “no more money”. However how we divide and spend the money we do have is a vital economic question at this point in our history. We are asking all Political Parties to consider the impact of art and culture on all areas of society and to consider the actual and real cost to society of not increasing current state investment levels or even worse of further cuts to the art and cultural sector.

British & Welsh culture are the most powerful and most compelling products the nation has available to promote itself internationally. Thanks to the Olympic and Paralympic opening ceremonies, British culture and creativity are now more in demand than ever before. The governments of major and emerging economies, including India and China, have included culture as a core part of their economic development plans, with Britain cited as the exemplar. Our cultural and creative excellence is recognised globally, enabling UKTI to fly the flag for British goods and services, and attract investment which will drive jobs and opportunities here at home.  Wales must improve its Cultural capital abroad if it is to become Europe’s leading Cultural light.

We propose a joined up approach to art and culture across all government departments where the savings to each department though access to art and culture is reflected in monetary terms in that department’s percentage of budget spend on art and culture.

Joined up government would make public spending more effective.

Far from being a drain on public spending, the arts & Culture related industries are a proven boon to the UK economy and productivity in general. Investment in culture is proven to result in increased

·         Income levels from tourism (£856m a year)

·         Regeneration in our towns & cities

·         Turnover in Arts & Culture activities (12.4billion 2011 - £5.9bn GVA to UK economy)

·         Employment figures (over 260,000 jobs)

But  much more than this are the invisible and unquantifiable amounts saved by other government departments and the UK taxpayer generally as a direct result of Arts & Culture activities  -e.g. all aspects of  law and order  & health services, 

Strategy - we want the government to  maximise funds available for culture from other governmental departments since cultural activities have a direct impact on the activities of those departments.

Over the next five years and beyond the cultural sector will continue to find new ways to operate effectively and efficiently. This endeavour must be underpinned by sufficient government investment to support the critical risk-taking, research, innovation, experiment, inclusion, education and leadership that will be integral to our success.



Policy solutions that will help the arts










The benefits of culture are not sufficiently championed across Government. We are urging:

1.      Greater support from all  politicians in Wales in the way that they articulate their support for the arts and culture in speeches and media appearances to deter removal of Local Authority funding and positively encourage attendance and giving.A commitment to support policies which will see access to culture made consistently high across communities. We want to see ministers from across the whole of government acknowledging and championing the benefits of culture and the necessity of creativity, including a major speech from the First Minister of Wales on the importance of culture. Culture should be at the core of all parties policies and run through their manifestos, NOT be reduced to a couple of lines or at best a couple of paragraphs. We want to see all parties establishing the value and necessity of artand culture


2.      A joined-up approach to cultural policy with a cross-departmental Cultural Minster to unlock public policy and support national infrastructure across in different departments.



3.      Government to support cultural organisations to unlock international relationships by maintaining culture as key to their strategy and vision, including cultural leaders on all overseas delegations undertaken by Welsh Government and facilitating international philanthropy.




4.      Commit to producing and publishing usable, accessible data on the national health of cultural funding, participation and impact.

5.      Pledge to maintain free access to Museums



Too often, culture is seen by politicians as a private good, a luxury, something transactional and available for purchase. This is wrong – culture is a public good and a right of every British citizen.


 “…the arts are not ‘added value’ to ‘real’, ‘serious’, practical living; they are not marginal, nor are they decorative or ‘entertainment’.  They are not a leisure activity.  They are a core human activity inseparable from personal and social being…” Wales Arts (Stephens) Review:





The UK's investment in the arts is below the European average, yet we need to sustain the largest commercial creative sector” – The Creative Industries Federation.

A major reason for the arts’ success in the UK is the mixed economy funding model. Organisations rely equally on government investment, private sponsorship and their own commercial income. This system, which differs to the subsidy-focussed European or philanthropy-reliant US models, encourages entrepreneurialism, creative risk-taking and accessibility.

Today the arts are facing a “triple whammy” funding crisis. Core funding, local authority funding and private giving have seriously declined during austerity, particularly outside of London. This is despite consistent evidence that investment in the arts delivers benefits beyond just providing high-quality entertainment (what the Treasury would term a “private good”). They have been shown to deliver economic regeneration, social mobility, community cohesion, health and well-being benefits and higher attainment in school children (or “public goods”). The Treasury have understood this, and the introduction of tax breaks for regional theatre has been extremely welcome. More measures such as these are required; any further depletion in funding will seriously impede the sector’s future success. Funding for the Arts Council currently accounts for 0.05% of Government spending. If funding was to be raised by even a small amount at both a local and national level, organisations could plan their finances and future programmes with confidence. This will enable them to make a greater long-term social and economic contribution.

“John Sorrell calls for government to recognise investment in arts as investment in high-growth creative industries #cultureforgrowth” – Creative Industries Federation


Cost neutral

-        Incentivise Local Authorities to focus part of their investments into cultural activities.

-        Require local authorities to produce an arts strategy, in order to “nudge” them towards considering the wider benefits investing in arts will bring their area. This document should be in line with the Plan for Creative Learning Strategy.

Minimal additional cost

-        Commit to funding the arts and culture by at least 0.1% of total government spend over the next 5 years.

-        Introduce tax breaks for regional and touring exhibitions of both the visual arts and museums and heritage.

-        Introduce Wales tax breaks to incentivise philanthropy outside of London.

-        Expanding on the existing “Taking Part” survey, commit Welsh Government to producing and publishing useable, accessible data on cultural participation across the country, both on an art-form and regional basis.




We also propose:

·         a real local authority incentive to invest in the arts and culture - either through ACW funding being conditional to local authority commitments to invest, or through making cultural/arts access a statutory service, in line with library provision. A statutory requirement for strategic planning for arts and culture is not enough.

·         flat real funding to the Arts Council and to National Museums in the next spending round and a commitment to funding the arts and culture by a minimum of 0.1% of total spend over the next 5 years.


Germany’s spend on culture is 1.67% of the total, Latvia is 1.86%, Sweden is 2.6% and Estonia is 3.21%.  Lottery funding must remain additional to core government spend.

Take a leaf out of Sweden's book? Sweden's Cultural Policy 



“Over the past century, the UK has stopped nurturing its polymaths. You

need to bring art and science back together … Lewis Carroll didn’t just

write one of the classic fairytales of all time. He was also a mathematics

tutor at Oxford. James Clerk Maxwell was described by Einstein as

among the best physicists since Newton – but was also a published poet.”


Eric Schmidt,Executive Chair,Google, MacTaggart Lecture, 2011


Access to the arts is a human right. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) contains articles which exhort nations to ensure children are rounded citizens and allowing them to imagine different futures for themselves. The UN has stipulated that access to the arts is a human right, and that every child and young person should have access to a creative education.

Creativity in education is about giving children they need to communicate, collaborate, empathise and better understand the world they live in. Increasingly employers such as Google and business groups are calling for cultural activities to become a central plank of education, too. According to the CBI, “it is essential that alongside specific technical skills we also equip people with the creative thinking and entrepreneurial skills that help facilitate innovation and problem solving.” But there are a series of disincentives at work which are affecting the provision of arts subjects in schools.

What Next? applauds the emphasis on the expressive arts and creativity in the Donaldson Review and the Welsh Government’s decision to introduce the Creative Learning Plan and  we ask that a commitment is given to  fund this strategy through to 2030 without using Arts Council Core Funding or ring Fenced Lottery Funding for this initiative beyond 2020.


Recommended Pledges:

·         A Cultural Passport - examples: Student Pledge or Berlin Pass 

·         A Pledge to a Right to art/culture

We will deliver a right to culture for every child.

We will ensure that every child will see, make and share in art.

The right to culture for every child must be a cornerstone of cultural and educational policy, establishing equal access to a high standard of cultural learning opportunities, for all children and young people.

We will ensure that every state school provides the cultural opportunities that exist in the best state schools and many independent schools


Recommended Solutions:


·         Incentivise schools to ensure their students see at least one professional live performance each year, either in an external performance venue or by a touring company visiting the school.


 Replace with something like….To ensure that all arts subjects are given status and validation equal to that given to all other subjects including but not limited to Maths and Science and ensure all communications stress them as being fundamental components of  a rounded and balanced education and not seen as a ‘soft’ or ‘vocational’ option. A young person does not study Maths or Science simply because they wish to be a Mathematician or Scientist. Nor Art or Drama because they want to be an artist or work in the field of performing arts. They do so because all these subjects provide them with the education and transferable life skills necessary for an enriched, empowered and entitled citizen.


·         New guidance from Estyn that no Children’s Centre, School, Youth Service, Academy or other setting should be judged beyond ‘satisfactory’ by Estyn unless they offer a broad and balanced range of cultural learning opportunities including extra-curricularand balanced arts and cultural activities


·         Growth of the numbers of teacher training places in Arts subjects, to reflect the need for high-quality arts teachers in schools, (including Arts Specialists in primary Schools) and to reverse the current decrease . We welcome the Furlong Report 's recommendation of a 4 year BA education degree to allow greater emphasis on subject specialist knowledge and raise the quality of educational experience of prospective teachers. However Wales needs to improve teacher training  and Professional Development opportunities for all  teachers of the arts






The UK is experiencing a boom in self-employment, driven largely by market failure to provide secure jobs rather than real employment choice.

The UK has the largest cultural economy in the world relative to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The creative and cultural industries represent one of our economy’s greatest success stories. Since 2008 the GVA generated by the creative and cultural industries has increased by 15.6%, compared with an increase of 5.4 per cent for the UK Economy as a whole. The creative and cultural sector has a strong start-up culture, and is dominated by small and medium-sized businesses: 94% of businesses in the creative sector employ fewer than 10 staff.

Our education system needs entrepreneurship education to encourage more young adults to feel confident in pursuing and setting up their own business ideas. Young people need to be taking a creative and collaborative approach to work, whether they work in a small or large business, developing a sense of agency about their futures.

Evidence on the business death rate suggests that much newer businesses are not surviving well. Several business support studies confirm that "soft support" such as business advice is an important component of the early stage of a business. Arts and Cultural start-up business needs are not being met by the current Business Wales initiatives. With sufficient reach, a voucher scheme could be the flexible, needs-driven solution creative micro businesses need.

1.       Include entrepreneurship skills in the development of continuing professional development and non-statutory guidance for the GCSE and A-level qualifications.

2.       Introduce Lord Young’s small and micro-business growth voucher scheme to Wales

3.       Increase the relevance, suitability and  accessibility of the National Apprenticeship Scheme.

4.       Extend the age range of apprentices entitled to funding under the National Apprenticeships Scheme

5.       Investigate how empty propertys can be released to artists and artist collectives at a peppercorn rent to stimulate regeneration.


The UK Government’s £30m Growth Vouchers programme is to trial innovative approaches to help small firms overcome the barriers that hold them back. The programme should be introduced into Wales and extended from two to five years to improve analysis of findings.

The arts and culture enhance every aspect of our lives in ways that are often unacknowledged: the vibrancy of our cities, the identity of our rural communities, the future prospects of our children, the quality of our democracy, the employability of our workforce, our ability to make sense of our own experience and to empathise with others.

Consistent with the spirit with which they make and offer art - imagination, persuasion, delight, generosity, conviction - the vast majority of UK arts organisations are committed to engaging as many people as possible with the power of the arts and culture to enhance and transform our collective and individual lives.

Art and culture are not just an enjoyable or challenging way of spending a few hours between work and sleep.  They permeate our existence through architecture, industrial design, fashion, television, telecommunication, media, advertising and so on.  We cannot choose not to have them.  We can only choose what quality of art and culture we and future generations will experience.

UK cultural organisations make a major contribution to the national and local economy. They act as the engine room and R&D department for the creative industries, the most rapidly growing sector of our economy.  They are also highly transformative in terms of income generation, job creation, tourism and export earnings.  They stimulate creativity in engineering, science and business; underwrite the distinctive identity of street, town, city and nation; improve all aspects of the quality of life; promote regeneration; enable audiences and participants to imagine and create new futures for themselves.

For all these reasons we believe that everyone - young and old - should have access to art and culture at the highest level. 

Currently cultural access is far from equal across the country and, in some cases it is under severe threat.


The Economic Argument: The importance of arts and culture to the economy.

Arts Council of England (ACE) study findings on the value of culture released May ’13 by Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). Arts Council of Wales (ACW) figures to follow

1. For every pound invested in arts and culture, £6 is generated for the local economy.


6.     VAT - 75% of ACE’s entire theatre budget in 2010 would have been paid for by the return in VAT receipts from London theatres alone.(nb This figure will have  increased since 2010 as the theatre budget has gone down through cuts and capacity in London’s theatres has gone up. )


3 . The arts sector makes a £7 contribution to GDP for every £1 of government subsidy. (ACE study May 13 – Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR)


4. The arts turnover of £12.8billion is a higher return that that from the wholesale and retail industries (ACE study May 13)


5. The art budget accounts for less than 0.1% of public spending, yet it makes up 0.4% of the nation’s GDP (ACE study May 13)


6. The turnover of business in the arts and culture industry was £12.4bn in 2011. This in turn led to an estimated £5.9bn of gross value added (GVA) to the UK economy in the same year. (GVA is the value of the industry’s output minus the value of inputs used to produce it, including state subsidies.)


7. The sector provides more than 110,000 jobs directly, about 0.45% of total employment in the UK. The figure becomes 260,300 jobs once the indirect impacts of arts and culture are added in.


8. Living in an area with twice the average level of cultural density adds an average £26,817 to the value of a property.



9. 60% of arts organisations total income comes from ticket sales, sponsorship and donations and philanthropy.


10. The cultural economy creates 694,700 jobs across England.


11. 6,910 cultural business contribute £28 billion each year to the UK economy.


12. 60% of their total income comes from ticket sales, sponsorships, donations and philanthropy


13. £4 bn + a year is the contribution of the music, visual arts and performing arts


14. London theatre alone returns almost as much to the treasury in VAT receipts as Arts Council England gives to theatre across the whole country.


15. UNESCO has identified the UK as the world’s largest exporter of cultural goods – bigger than the US, bigger than Japan, bigger than Germany or France. And we’re a net exporter too.


15. The creative industries, according to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, account for 6.2% (GVA) of the goods and services in the economy, £16.6bn in exports and 2 million jobs.


16. Arts funding amounts only to 7p in every £100 of public spending. Money invested in the arts repays that investment many times over.


17. The creative industries are worth £36 bn to the economy.



The arts offer life-enhancing experiences that challenge the way we think. They are also the creative bedrock Britain relies on in order compete in the modern, digital economy.

Subsidised and commercial arts and cultural activity and the Creative Industries are inextricably linked. They are all part of one ecology and subsidised arts and culture and arts led education are the foundation and pathway to commercial success and all areas of the creative economy

Culture enhances almost every aspect of our daily life, from the music on the radio to the design of our smartphones, from the scripts of our favourite soaps to the adverts we see on our daily commutes. It also impacts on people’s lives in ways that are often unexpected and unacknowledged; the vibrancy of a local area, the development of our children, the employability of our workforce.  Investing in culture doesn’t only produce excellent art. It also creates informed and engaged citizens, promotes personal wellbeing, increases community cohesion and regeneration and raises our profile overseas. Culture is the engine driving the growth of Britain’s creative industries – the fastest growing section of the economy – and is responsible for a huge proportion of our tourism and export earnings.

Investment in this growth area is needed in times of austerity more than ever. That investment will produce the future leaders, creative thinkers, entrepreneurs and change-makers who we need and a healthier, safer, richer and more equal society.

Investment in art & culture saves money. Simply track two looked after young people’s lives – one who has access to art & cultural activities and one who does not. Weigh up the cost of one young person needing mental and physical healthcare, police, custody, probation, judicial, social services costs versus the one who was allowed access to subsidised art and culture and as a result went onto higher education and  full-time employment. You do the Maths. The evidence is there.

Evidence sources –

The Cultural Learning Alliance

Arts Works & Art Works Cymru.

Back ground Reports, Statistics & Evidence

Cultural Well being:

Click here<http://whatnextculture.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=3231e29f12b75ab9c018f7b72&id=33cbd2e21c&e=17dc26a13e>  to read John Holden's original paper on the subject



Creative Economy Report 2013 Special Edition |...


The Report confirms the creative economy as one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the world economy and a highly transformative one in terms of income generation, job creation and export earnings.   But this is not all there is to it.  For unlocking the potential of the creative economy also means promoting the overall creativity of societies, affirming the distinctive identity of the places where it flourishes and clusters, improving the quality of life there, enhancing local image and prestige and strengthening the resources for the imagining of diverse new futures.


The one report you need to read
CASE is a programme of strategic research led by DCMS


The contribution of the arts and culture to the national economy Centre for Economics and Business Reform, 2013

Education – The Cultural Learning Alliance Website. www.culturallearningalliance.org.uk