From the start let me admit that as a music nut and theatre fan, perennial beginner guitar player and grandfather to a young lady who started dancing aged two and half and is now studying Musical Theatre at Uni, I am more than a little biased when it comes to The Arts.

Years at dancing and singing competitions, show auditions, rehearsals and performances, gets into your blood.

So for me and many others it is painful to see the current state of the Arts and concerning to think about what the future holds.

The situation is made worse with certain politicians suggesting that those in the Arts should re-train for another career. It is as if working in the Arts, in all its forms, is not a real job.

What many people don’t realise is the contribution the Arts make to the UK economy.

A 2019 report from the Arts council revealed that: -

  • The arts and culture industry has grown £390million in a year and now contributes £10.8billion a year to the UK economy.
  • The sector contributes £2.8billion a year to the Treasury via taxation and generates a further £23billion a year and 363,700 jobs.
  • Productivity in the arts and culture industry between 2009 and 2016 was greater than that of the economy as a whole, with gross value added per worker at £62,000 for arts and culture, compared to £46,800 for the wider UK economy.

But the UK economy is not the only issue here.

It is widely recognised that engaging in the Arts, either watching, listening or taking part on any level can improve an individual's Mental Health.

For those who choose to take part in The Arts from a young age it can build character, grow commitment, improve self-confidence and social skills, and teach young people how to win and how to lose.

At a local level the Arts also contribute to the local economy: there are many, many dance schools, music and singing teachers, cinemas and other venues, and we are blessed with local theatres. 

I was absolutely delighted when it was announced that The Rose Theatre in Rugeley will receive a grant of nearly £94,000 as part of the government's Culture Recovery Fund to help it through these current troubled times and beyond. 

An additional £342,000 has been provided to Cannock Chase District Council and will be used to support the Museum of Cannock Chase, Prince of Wales Theatre in Cannock and the Arts Development programme run by Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles.

We would love to hear your reflections on our local venues and Arts industry. 

Email [email protected] to let us know your thoughts.