North East cultural organisations trade with one third of the planet

North East cultural organisations trade with one third of the planet

A new survey has revealed the most important countries to the North East’s arts and heritage sector both now, and over the next 15 years.

The survey found that Germany, the USA, France, South Africa, Sweden and China are particularly important to arts and heritage in the North East of England. 

The survey, carried out by the North East Cultural Partnership (NECP), also reported that forty five arts and heritage organisations in the region are currently working with 61 countries – a third of the world’s nations.

Analysing nearly 200 projects detailed in the survey, more than a third of the cultural activity is of mutual benefit - such as artist exchange and European Union-funded programmes. The survey results also reveal the North East region exports twice as much cultural activity as it imports.

Graeme Thompson, dean of the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media at the University of Sunderland, and chair of the NECP International Sub-Group, said:  “This survey has identified the six countries with the most potential for future investment and growth in terms of cultural partnership.

“The NECP is now meeting with UK Trade and Investment, the Chamber of Commerce, Local Enterprise Partnerships, and the Combined Authorities to investigate how these key organisations can support the international work of the North East’s cultural sector and, in return, how the cultural sector can support the other sectors of the North East’s economy.”

The Creative and cultural industries are worth £755m in Gross Value Added to the North East Economy, with over 70,000 people employed in the cultural sector. 

David Coppock, Regional Director for UKTI North East, said: "We find that organisations that export their goods and services overseas have increased confidence and creativity back here in the UK.

Arts and culture organisations may not be seen as 'traditional' exporters, but they have skills, expertise and heritage that the rest of the world is interested in. This week is Exporting is Great week - a whole week of events dedicated to helping North East organisations take the first steps on their export journeys."