Participation in arts and culture makes communities feel safer and stronger, adds to health and wellbeing and reduces social isolation1, but funding cuts are a significant threat to culture and leisure activities, particularly in the third sector.

Cultural and recreational activities can help people access the natural environment through healthy lifestyles. Sport is evidenced to result in significant savings to health costs and yet there are concerns that many of Dorset’s young people are physically inactive.

All data relates to statistics that pre-date Covid unless stated otherwise

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Health and wellbeing value

  • Arts and cultural intervention can have a positive impact on specific health conditions such as dementia, Parkinson’s and depression1. The BSO and arts in hospital partnership saw the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra performing live to patients living with dementia to increase their wellbeing. The project found that dementia patients benefitted through fewer falls, reduced medication, and reduced hospital stays7.
  • Nearly half of older people (43%) say that accessibility is an important factor when they choose arts venues to attend.2
  • Overall 76% of people aged 65+ say that arts & culture is important to making them feel happy. And nearly as many (69%) say that arts and culture is important in improving their overall quality of life2
76% of older people say arts & culture makes them feel happy
76% of older people say arts & culture makes them feel happy

Engagement & Economic Value

  • Research has revealed that the economic impact of Dorset based arts organisation, Artreach adds to public funding by an estimated 93%, particularly through the ‘volunteer multiple’ which adds time, commitment and expertise to arts administration in Dorset.
  • There are nine competitive youth football leagues operating across Dorset. Three leagues for girls and six mixed leagues from Under 12 to under 16s. There are also hundreds of youngsters playing in non-competitive leagues from under 7 through to under 11 as well as a multitude of other organised sports.
  • 'Back to Netball' and walking footy have successfully encouraged older people to take up sport.
  • The number of businesses in the Creative Industries in Dorset has been growing rapidly. Between 2010 and 2017 there has been a 27% increase, compared to 8% for all industries.6
  • The Creative Economy has grown by a quarter since 2010, at a rate faster than the whole of the UK economy, which grew 17.4%5
  • For every £1 invested in the Arts Development Company by the council there is a return of £4 secured in external investment into the area.7
  • The museum of the moon installation generated an estimated £293,000 for the local economy and led to 60% of Sherborne businesses citing greater custom

What are we doing about it?

Leisure centres provide affordable access to exercise classes, gym equipment, sports facilities and swimming. There are currently 9 in Dorset, overseen by local authorities, with many more operating independently. By using public money in this way, demand for expensive health interventions can reduce as the public stay fit and healthy both physically and mentally.

Dorset Council supports local sports clubs through providing advice such as how to set up a club, fund it, and train staff. Sometimes grants are available to cover some of the costs.

The council supports local events such as the IRONMAN triathlon which came to Weymouth in 2016 and has continued on an anual basis since then. Each year, visits to Dorset by the entrants and their supporters adds more than £1million to the local economy.

Community facilities such as skate parks and public green spaces, which may have outdoor gym equipment, are other examples of councils providing leisure facilities for public use.

The council recognises the benefits that arts and culture bring to people, including improved health and wellbeing, as well as economic gains. The council supports the arts and culture by providing free access to books, learning and local history via libraries and also financial support for the Arts Development Company. Work took place on a three year (2016-19) business and creative industries growth project with the Dorset Growth Hub called Culture+. This has been funded by the EU with a further £482,000 from Arts Council England.

Headline Figures

£425m

The value of creative industries to the Dorset LEP area

76%

Of older people say that arts & culture is important to making them feel happy

61%

Of Dorset's adults are overweight

41,000

People saw the iconic Dorset Moon installation

3,000

Young people play in the Dorset Youth Football League

72%

Of Dorset's adults are phsically active

61%

Of Dorset's adults are overweight3

Headline Figures

£425m

The value of creative industries to the Dorset LEP area

76%

Of older people say that arts & culture is important to making them feel happy

61%

Of Dorset's adults are overweight

41,000

People saw the iconic Dorset Moon installation

3,000

Young people play in the Dorset Youth Football League

72%

Of Dorset's adults are phsically active

61%

Of Dorset's adults are overweight3


Sources

  • 1 Create, Arts Council England, December 2015
  • 2 http://www.comresglobal.com/polls/arts-council-england-older-people-poll/ [Accessed 03/07/18]
  • 3 PHE Public Health Outcome (PHOF) Indicators, 2017/18 data
  • 4 Taking Part 2016/17: South West, Arts Council England
  • 5 DCMS Sectors Economic Estimates, August 2016, Department for Culture, Media and Sport
  • 6 UK Businesses 2017, Local Units, ONS , 2015
  • 7 The Arts Development Company

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