With local authorities, governments and commercial sponsors everywhere questioning the value of culture and cutting budgets around those of us that make it we've seen some good press today. The Manchester Evening News are reporting that over the summer Manchester retailers in the city have experienced a healthy 7.2% growth over the summer months on last year, stating:
A strong events calendar, which included the Manchester Day Parade in June, the Manchester International Festival in July and Dig The City and Manchester Pride in August, are all believed to have contributed to the rise in footfall in the city and ultimately increased basket spend.
The immediate economic impact of arts isn't always easy to quantify (the social impact even harder) and its a task normally left to established voices in the sector to make, so it's good to see a mainstream press outlet directly recognising the crucial importance of a thriving cultural sector on the well-being of the more commercially driven city.
We're proud of the fact that by working with CityCo we were able to both satisfy their remit to improve the city centre for their members and the public while simultaneously bringing high quality monumental artwork to a public that may well never have seen it if tucked away inside a gallery. It's also nice that the paper used our sculptures with Jason Hackenwerth and the Heart of Manchester BID as their featured image.