As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that SOLT & UK Theatre are best able to promote the value of theatre and the performing arts, both to our audience and government and other public bodies.
To do this, we need to present accurate and relevant evidence, build a business case for ongoing support, and promote the theatre sector’s economic and social benefits. We have commissioned consultant Sound Diplomacy to undertake an economic impact assessment of the UK Theatre sector to support that aim.
Who is Sound Diplomacy?
Sound Diplomacy is a global research and strategy consultancy with expertise in music, the night-time economy and wider creative industries. They work with regions, cities, venues and property developers to help them identify, quantify and amplify opportunities for economic, social and cultural development. What will they be reporting on? The report, due to be delivered at the end of May 2022, will focus on these key areas:
- Macro-Economic assessment of the economic impact of the UK theatre Sector This will deliver an overall picture of the GVA of the theatre sector, made up of direct, indirect & induced expenditure. This section of the report will also cover employment.
- Assessment of consumer impact on local economies This element of the report will deliver a more localised picture, highlighting the impact of theatre audiences on a local economy when they see a show through other spending on restaurants, bars, travel, etc.
- UK theatre as an export product This element of the report will highlight the benefits of UK theatre as an export product, developing a picture of the sector’s activity overseas and identifying critical international markets.
- COVID impact Using data gathered from 2019, 2020 and 2021, Sound Diplomacy will measure the impact of COVID-19 on the sector’s performance.
- Mapping of the UK theatre Sector Sound Diplomacy will deliver a searchable map of UK theatre buildings, companies and supply chain.
How will members be able to use the report? We believe that the consumer impact analysis will provide members with extraordinary evidence of their impact in their local areas. By providing a simple series of ‘soundbites’ for member use (e.g. for every £x spent on a ticket, £y is generated in spending in the local economy), we can support you in working with your local authorities and business communities to encourage advocacy for your activities from other areas of the economy. The COVID impact assessment will also help clarify the sector’s difficulties over the last two years, building a solid case for short to medium term intervention and stimulus to support recovery. SOLT & UK Theatre will use the macro-economic impact when advocating for the sector at a national and regional level. How can members help develop and deliver the report? Sound Diplomacy has developed a survey for venues and companies to complete as part of their works program. You can download a PDF of the survey here, and it can be completed online here. The survey will be open for four weeks, and progress can be saved, so it doesn’t need to be completed in a single sitting. Whilst the survey is detailed, it is vital that members complete the questions to the best of their ability. The more detail that we as a sector provide, the more explicit and more specific a picture Sound Diplomacy can deliver in their report, particularly when it comes to developing localised analysis. We would ask members that own multiple venues to ask the management team of each venue to complete the survey rather than providing general information for the group. This will allow for much greater localisation of data and analysis of the impact. Please complete the survey before 11 April 2022. If you have any questions regarding the survey or broader project, please don’t hesitate to contact David.