A credit to Britain: Why public investment in art and culture matters

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people's lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries - from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections.

Between 2010 and 2015, we will invest £1.9 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1.1 billion from the National Lottery in arts and culture to help create experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

Find out more about our mission Great art and culture for everyone and our 5 Goals.

Culture Matters

What will 14p buy you these days?

A single dishwasher tablet; a 1-minute mobile phone call or one tenth of a litre of petrol?

But 14p can go a long way. This is the amount that each person in England contributes per week via the Arts Council to investment in arts and culture. It benefits all of us by making our lives richer, bringing communities together and helping drive economic growth. Here's what you, your family and community get for your money...

Landmark cultural institutions

We invest in the cultural institutions that are treasured by communities across England.

World-class arts centres like...

Southbank Centre - one of London's most beloved cultural destinations and a contributor to the capital's economic success. It has seen a 48 per cent increase in visitors in the last five years and has doubled its income during that time to £23.7 million.

Galleries like...

Nottingham Contemporary which opened in 2010 following investment by the Arts Council. It contributed £8.7 million to the local economy in its first year.

Museums like...

The Ironbridge Gorge Museum in Shropshire which has become a successful commercial enterprise in its own right and hosts visits from 70,000 school children each year.

Theatres and performance venues like...

Live Theatre in Newcastle which was the original venue for Lee Hall's acclaimed The Pitmen Painters. The play transferred to the National Theatre, and subsequently to Broadway. It continues to run in London's West End.

Events to remember

We fund the artistic events which bring people together and shape our collective memories.

The 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, watched by around 1 billion viewers worldwide, showcased many artists who rose from the subsidised arts, including the artistic director Danny Boyle and performers Akram Khan and Sir Simon Rattle.

The Manchester International Festival has commissioned new work by artists as diverse as Bjork, Damon Albarn and Victoria Wood. The festival was recently included in the Daily Telegraph's top 1,000 brightest businesses.

Opportunities for children and young people

The Arts Council funds programmes which engage future generations with the arts.

In Harmony is a national programme that aims to inspire and transform the lives of children in deprived communities, using the power and disciplines of community-based orchestral music-making.

Our Creative Employment programme supports up to 6,500 apprenticeships and paid internshipsacross the arts and cultural sector.

Want to know more? Find out everything you need to know about investment in arts and culture.