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Edinburgh’s cultural venues impact 2013-14


The aim of the study was to assess the economic, educational and cultural impacts of Edinburgh’s cultural venues. The report summarises the impact of Edinburgh’s leading cultural venues, including venues managed by nine organisations, ranging from galleries and music venues to museums, theatres and cinemas: City of Edinburgh Council Museums and Galleries; Edinburgh Playhouse; Festival Theatre; Filmhouse; King’s Theatre; National Museum of Scotland; Queen’s Hall; Royal Lyceum Theatre; National Galleries Scotland; Traverse Theatre; and Usher Hall. The benefits and impacts set out in the report are for April 2013 to March 2014.


The methodology used to assess the economic impact of Edinburgh’s cultural venues was guided by the methodology used previously by Biggar Economics and others to assess the impact of a wide range of projects, events, organisations and buildings including other cultural institutions. The methodology was informed by best practice guidance in economic impact assessment including Scottish Enterprise’s Additionality and Economic Impact Assessment Guidance Note (2008) and HM Treasury’s Green Book.


The study found that Edinburgh’s cultural venues collectively deliver a wide range of benefits to the city, and to Scotland through creating, hosting and touring their own productions, and providing the physical infrastructure which allows wider cultural activity to happen through working with partners and other cultural organisations. The headline figures for the economic impact of Edinburgh’s cultural venues are impressive, with over 5,000 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs being supported across Scotland and over £190 million gross value added (GVA) being contributed to Scotland’s economy annually. Over 3,200 FTE jobs and £156 million GVA is in the Edinburgh economy. These economic impacts come from a variety of sources, including: direct activity (the GVA the organisation contributes through its income and the number of employees that they directly employ); staff spending their wages in the economy; supplier spending on goods and services; and visitor spending. In terms of cultural and educational impact, participation in cultural activities results in a range of impacts on personal and community development. Edinburgh’s cultural venues created impact on personal and community development through: hosting almost 1,600 visual and performing arts, films, exhibitions and shows and over 6,100 programmed performances in 2013-14; delivering over 80,000 adult attendances to a learning and participation activity delivered by the cultural venues in 2013-14; and almost 119,000 schoolchildren attendances to school activities carried out by Edinburgh’s cultural venues. The report also notes that the venues play a key role in talent attraction and development, providing a platform that enables other artistic and cultural organisations to thrive, and enabling emerging talent to expand their knowledge and skills through attendance and participation in activities.


No recommendations were made.

Author Biggar Economics
Published Year 2015
Report Type Research
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