Most think culture belongs on the high street – ACE survey

A large majority believe that life would be better with culture on our high streets, ahead of pubs, bars and restaurants.

Research, by Arts Council England, shows that 69% of those surveyed believe theatres, museums, music venues and libraries (pictured is the Three Royal and Opera House, Wakefield) would make their communities better places to live in.

This was particularly true in the North and Midlands, where 68% said culture made them proud of where they lived compared with a national average of 60%, according to the report A High Street Renaissance: How arts and culture bring people and pride back to our high streets.

While footfall on high streets fell by 43.4% last year, cultural venues such as Storyhouse in Chester and the ARC arts centre in Stockton have brought people back to our main streets helping to prevent high street decline.

“As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, cultural organisations will be essential in bringing visitors back to high streets, helping to drive economic growth, boost community pride and promote wellbeing in villages, towns and cities across the country” said the Arts Council’s CEO Darren Henley. “We must do everything we can to ensure that cultural organisations are well equipped to play this vital role in our national recovery.”

More on ACE’s website here, and the full report can be downloaded here.

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