The arts make a very significant contribution to the Irish economy and can be a major driver for jobs and investment, new data released today has shown.
The report, commissioned by the Arts Council and written by a leading economist, suggests the economic impact of the arts may be larger than generally perceived by analysts and policymakers.
Funding from the Arts Council to organisations around the country of €76 million supports more than 3,000 jobs, generates a turnover of €192 million and sends €54 million directly back to the Exchequer in the form of income, VAT and other taxes.
The economic impact of the wider arts sector is also greater than anticipated, with a Gross Added Value of €782 million, total expenditure of €1.8 billion, 26,519 jobs and tax revenue of €352 million.
The report also demonstrates how the arts play a significant role in the creative industries, where Gross Added Value is calculated at €5.5 billion, and total employment is 96,000.
Speaking to journalists today, Arts Council Chairman Pat Moylan described the report as "rigorous, evidenced-based and very welcome".
"At last we can back up what we have known by instinct: the Arts Council is making a very significant contribution to the Irish economy, and can help to generate hundreds more jobs right now, for a proportionately small extra investment," Ms Moylan said.
"Our artists and arts organisations stand ready to play their part in national recovery - in job creation, in boosting Ireland’s international reputation as a hub for creativity, innovation, investment, and, of course, for cultural tourism," Ms Moylan said.
At the briefing, the author of the report, Dr Alan Gray, Managing Partner of Indecon Economic Consultants, said his analysis demonstrated that the arts and cultural sectors have a significant economic impact.
"While I do not believe that the arts should be evaluated solely on economic grounds, it is clear that the sector is an important and labour intensive one. It also makes a significant contribution to Exchequer revenues."