Sydney's arts and nightlife scenes missing out on AU$16bn a year, says study
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Sydney's arts and nightlife scenes missing out on AU$16bn a year, says study

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Supporting the expansion and growth of Sydney’s arts and culture sector is essential to the character of the city and its population, according to research by Deloitte Access Economics, which also found that the Australian city has great potential to grow its night-time economy.

The report looked at Sydney’s thriving arts and culture scene, which employs a higher proportion of its people (46,640 or 2.24 per cent) than any other major Australian city, finding that cinema, museums and art galleries, live music and theatre were the most popular artistic activities.

The total economic value of visits to art and culture events and institutions in the state of New South Wales is put at AU$1.4bn (US$1bn, €880m, £770m) per year, with a value to broader society put at AU$373m (US$265m, €234m, £205m) per year. Over half of Sydneysiders in the Deloitte survey professed to “love or like” the arts, and a further 26 per cent said they were happy to go along to arts and culture events if friends are going.

Liz Ann Macgregor OBE, director of The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, said Sydney’s reputation as a flourishing home for arts and culture was important in the context of the city’s future.

“We believe that the museum can play a role in fostering the skills that will be needed in the workplace of the future (good judgement, ethics, empathy, creativity – all things that artists do). Art is play, but it’s play with a purpose, which is about unleashing creativity and encouraging you to think differently. In our National Centre for Creative Learning, working with our amazing team of artist educators, you can learn about the process of taking an idea and realising it into a physical object.

“I think the business sector recognises that having a thriving arts and culture community is vital to a city. For Sydney to be a sophisticated city, a leader in the region, it needs the range of arts activities, from the more traditional art-forms like opera to the more innovative. A great city needs the whole ecosystem to be truly international and to attract the talent that we need to compete.”

Sydney’s night-time economy is worth AU$27bn (US$19.21bn, €16.96bn, £14.91bn) per year, but could be worth so much more, the research said: an extra AU$16bn (US$11.38bn, €10.05bn, £8.83bn) per year it estimates.

Lock-out laws aimed at curbing alcohol-related violence were introduced in 2014, and these have been blamed for undermining the vibrancy of the city’s nightlife. However, the Deloitte report makes clear that growing the night-time economy is about more than pubs and clubs. It says a range of sectors, including arts and culture, retail, and entertainment would also need to expand.

“A vibrant night-time economy creates a range of opportunities for providers and users, from 24-hour gyms and supermarkets to late-night art galleries, to extended shopping and transport choices,” the report says.

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Supporting the expansion and growth of Sydney’s arts and culture sector is essential to the character of the city and its population, according to research by Deloitte Access Economics, which also found that the Australian city has great potential to grow its night-time economy.
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