08 October 2012: Arts a major employer and contributor to Irish economic output - new report published

A report on the economic impact of the arts in Ireland, published this morning (8 October 2012), shows that the arts provide significant direct and indirect employment, with the Arts Council's annual funding from the Exchequer supporting some 2,270 jobs. The employment supported generates an annual turnover of €184 million with tax revenues (in the form of PAYE/income tax, PRSI and VAT), to the Irish Exchequer of €42 million.

The wider arts sector supports 20, 755 jobs, and contributes €336 million in taxes.

The arts also impact on the creative industries - including film and video, publishing, advertising, software, radio and television, libraries, archives, museums and other arts facilities -- contributing €4.7 billion to the economy and supporting 77,000 jobs.

The report, entitled an Assessment of the Economic Impact of the Arts in Ireland (DOC, 0.27 MB) is published by the Arts Council, the state agency which funds and develops the arts in Ireland. This 2012 report commissioned by the Council from Indecon International Economic Consultants, represents an update on Indecon's previous independent evaluation of the economic impact of the arts, published in 2009.  This update report, which is concerned with the impact of the arts in Ireland in 2011, indicates "that the arts continue to be a major employer and contributor to Irish economic output."

The report indicates that the turnover of the organisations supported by the Arts Council determines their ability to purchase goods and services, to employ staff and to undertake programmes of investment. These functions in turn have an impact on the wider economy.

Total funding committed by the Arts Council to organisations and individuals amounted to €60 million in 2011.  The estimated turnover of the Arts Council funded organisations and individuals in 2011 as stated, was €145 million.

The Arts Council own grant-in-aid has been reduced by €22 million or 25 percent over the five years, 2008 to 2012; there have been very significant jobs losses since the 2009 report and proportionate losses of VAT and other taxes to the Exchequer.

The Chairman of the Arts Council, Pat Moylan, said: "This report shows that the arts are a major employer and contributor to economic output, and that with smart investment the arts are capable of stimulating more job creation and economic activity at a time we need it most."

"The arts really matter to us in Ireland, they unite our communities in good times and in bad, and they help define us as a people. Our achievements in the arts give us a deep credibility when we tell the world of our flexible, creative, innovative work force, and the Arts Council is proud of the role the arts play in attracting inward investment," Ms Moylan added

Desert Rose, (oil on board) - Colin Middleton, 1975, Arts Council Virtual Gallery.
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Desert Rose, (oil on board) - Colin Middleton, 1975, Arts Council Virtual Gallery.

Recent publications
22 April 2014: Arts Council Plenary Minutes (March 2014) (PDF, 0.07 MB)
15 April 2014: Irish Arts Sector - Private Investment Report (PDF, 1.16 MB)
10 April 2014: Arts Council Prompt Payments Report January-March 2014 (PDF, 0.46 MB)