THE ECONOMIC impact of wider investment in arts and culture should be set in the context of John Major’s decision 25 years ago to press ahead with the National Lottery in the face of considerable opposition.
As well as providing support for cultural projects, in addition to the preservation of national heritage and greater investment in sport, its advent has certainly helped to renew public interest in culture and its wider value to local communities.
And the legacy, a quarter of a century later, is arts now being integral to the regeneration of towns and cities from the presence of globally-acclaimed attractions, like The Hepworth Wakefield, to Hull’s year-long City of Culture celebrations.
These examples – and many more – would have been unthinkable without the impetus generated by the National Lottery. And Yorkshire would be all the poorer, both economically and socially, without a cultural offering which is now the envy of the world.