Audience Finder National Visual Arts report out now: Galleries play a significant role in the visitor economy

Posted on 7 August 2015

New research from the Audience Finder National Visual Arts cluster, which Castlefield Gallery has been part of, has shown that galleries play a significant role in the visitor economy, with one in three visitors specifically planning their trip to visit a particular gallery.

The National Visual Arts Benchmark report, produced in partnership with CVAN (Contemporary Visual Arts network),  covers over 25,850 survey responses collected by 59 galleries across England through interviewer-led surveys undertaken from July 1st 2014 – 31st March 2015.

The survey results showed that just over half of visitors to the galleries were from outside the local area, with one in three having planned their trip to visit a specific gallery. A further quarter of visitors included a gallery visit as part of the trip, even if it wasn’t their primary motivation for coming to that local area.

In addition to highlighting the significant role of galleries in driving visitors to their local areas, the report also estimated that the galleries outside London attracted a combined new visitor spend of £25M to their local economy during the period of study.

Anne Torreggiani, Executive Director of The Audience Agency commented:

“The report demonstrates the strength of the visual arts in terms of its broad reach and the quality of experience it delivers.  Importantly, it also highlights the significant impact that galleries have on attracting visitors and spend to their local areas.”

Julia Bell, the National Coordinator for CVAN said:

“These findings demonstrate the unique value that visual arts bring to audiences and local communities, helping CVAN to make the case for greater partnership working between arts organisations, local authorities, tourism, business and regeneration bodies.”

Download Audience Agencies full report below.