Integration of culture in sustainable development - at national level
It is a reasonable supposition that societies which are culturally creative and diverse create an environment which is conducive to the development of new ideas,
innovation, and business growth. At a time of economic crisis, recognition of that relationship is important, as all too often cultural activities are presumed to be a luxury on which funding can be curtailed until the next upswing of the business cycle.
This misconception is unfortunate and widespread because of the challenges in quantifying the relationship between culture, creativity, innovation, and economic
development. The 2008 ‘Creative Britain’ report nevertheless made an important contribution in illustrating the importance of these relationships. In some areas the linkages are anyway clearly apparent. Music and the visual arts contribute over £4 Billion in gross value added to the UK economy. The creative industries overall contribute £36 Billion. In the museum sector, international cultural activity is a driver of economic growth through tourism, and provides a means for
museums to encourage overseas investment.
Publicly-funded museums help encourage and inspire growth within the creative industries. Museums are exploring their newly accessible world-wide audience
through the development of services and products, some harnessing new digital technologies to do so. Museums licence the use of images, film, and sound
recordings to commercial organisations across the world.
The UK’s major museums are some of the country’s major tourist attractions. We are home to three of the five most visited art museums in the world. 25% of overseas visitors to London visited the British Museum in 2010/11: there are now more visitors each year to museums in London than to the city of Venice. Relationships developed through cultural activity can help improve business, economic, and trade relationships by adding a more ‘human’ dimension.