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United Kingdom/ 6.2 Public cultural expenditure  

6.2.1 Aggregated indicators

Identifiable public expenditure on culture (including broadcasting and publishing) per head of population in the UK in 2008/09 was GBP 127.84. If broadcasting and publishing (representing GBP 3 589 million out of GBP 7 851 million) are excluded, the figure per head is GBP 69.40.

The public expenditure on culture (inclusive of broadcasting and publishing services) in 2008/09 corresponds to 0.54% of GDP or 0.29% of GDP if broadcasting and publishing are excluded.

The share of cultural expenditure (including broadcasting and publishing services) of total public expenditure in the UK in 2008/09 was 1.30%. If broadcasting and publishing services are excluded, the share of public expenditure was 0.70%.

The share of cultural expenditure (including broadcasting and publishing) of total public expenditure in the UK increased in the first few years of the new Millennium and peaked around 2004/05 when it was 1.45%. The figure for "culture" excluding broadcasting and publishing services was 0.75%. This reflected a relatively large injection of central government funding to the arts in England in particular. That momentum was not maintained in the second half of the decade. The cultural sector now faces major funding reductions over four years, but as public expenditure as a whole is being cutback by the new government as a result of the financial crisis, the percentages from 2011/12 may not differ significantly.

Table 2:     Per capita expenditure by national arts councils, in GBP, 2007-2009

Arts Council

Grant in aid 2007-2008

Grant in aid 2008-2009

Per capita 2008-2009

Arts Council England

422 610 000

436 531 000


Scottish Arts Council

48 519 000

46 652 000


Arts Council of Wales

28 152 000

30 711 000


Arts Council of Northern Ireland

12 488 812

12 895 434


Source:      DCMS Annual Report 2009, Annual reports / plans of the Scottish Arts Council, Arts Council of Wales, Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
Notes        1. Per Capita spend is based on latest population census in 2001.
                 2. Grant in Aid figures for Arts Council England have been extracted from the DCMS annual report 2009 to maintain consistency with Table in chapter 6.2.3. This is because figures provided by ACE from its Annual Report 2009 show a slight variance (423 601 000 for 07/08 and 437 631 000 for 08/09).
                 3. Other sources for this data are the Annual Reports/Plans of the Arts Councils in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Chapter published: 15-04-2011

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