The impact of the arts in Birmingham

The impact of the arts in Birmingham

By Morris Hargreaves McIntyre


A study to identify the economic contribution of the main arts organisations to the Birmingham economy and the impact they have on the image, profile and perceptions of the city and wider West Midlands region.


The brief

Birmingham Arts Partnership (BAP), which represents a group of major arts organisations in Birmingham, and Advantage West Midland (AWM) commissioned Morris Hargreaves McIntyre (MHM) to undertake a full assessment of the impact of the cultural sector across the city of Birmingham. BAP comprises the major cultural venues within the City Centre.

The aims were to:

  • Identify the current economic contribution made by the main city-based arts organisations and the impact they have on the image, profile and perceptions of the city and wider West Midlands region
  • Investigate opportunities for collaboration, which would strengthen the arts offer, highlight the benefits of partnership working and demonstrate the impact of the arts. To produce a delivery framework and action plan for increasing and improving collaboration across these organisations.
  • Develop a robust model that measures the economic and wider impacts of culture.
    • Participating organisations: Birmingham Hippodrome, Symphony Hall / Town Hall, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, The Drum, Mac, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sampad, Birmingham Opera Company, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, IKON, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Fierce.


      Financial audit: gathered attendances, ticket sales, international earnings, other income, staff salaries, staff and volunteers employed, training supplied, subsistence allowances, goods and services expenditure. (12 returned)

      Mapping: Postcodes of any patrons attending performances in the past year, which were analysed and mapped (178,619 postcodes supplied)

      E:survey of attenders at events at the participating organisations in the past 6 months (1,550 completed surveys)

      Telephone survey of adults living in the West Midlands region (500 adults in the City of Birmingham, 500 adults living elsewhere in the West Midlands Government Office Region)

      This report represents a summary of the research data.

      Reading this report

      The data contained in this report provides clear evidence of the contribution city-based arts organisations’ are currently making to the economy of Birmingham and the West Midlands, to the profile and brand identity of Birmingham and the region, as well as the
      difference it makes to the lives of individuals, and the communities in which they live.

      It presents a strong case for continued investment in culture, and on-going support for city-based arts organisations to deliver the cultural offer. The report should enable arts
      organisations and stakeholders to better understand what potential exists within the City, in the region and beyond the region, to develop new and existing arts audiences and increase the overall economic and societal impact of the arts both within and outwith the West Midlands.

      Download the report to read more

      Resource type: Research | Published: 2013