People seated at desks with computers with a seating area to the left

Converted office space in use at the Eagle Works, Little Kelham, Green Lane, Sheffield © Historic England DP234103
Converted office space in use at the Eagle Works, Little Kelham, Green Lane, Sheffield © Historic England DP234103

Heritage and the Economy

The historic environment has a close connection to economic activity. A great many of our jobs and enterprises are dependent on, attracted to or based in historic buildings and spaces.

Heritage and the Economy 2019 summarises the findings from studies on heritage and economic activity and brings up to date the Heritage Economic Indicators 2019. This year’s publication introduces new research on skills gaps and shortages in England as they relate to the productivity puzzle, and delves into the key findings of important recent academic research.

Key findings include:

  • The heritage sector is an important economic sector producing a total GVA of £31 billion and providing over 464,000 jobs
  • In 2018, heritage-related construction activities generated £7.1 billion in GVA in England employing over 100,000 people
  • It is estimated that 11% of firms in the heritage sector have a skill gap in their workforce, and that 6% operate with at least one skill shortage. As a result, £140 million of potential GVA were lost in 2016
  • 35% of UK citizens “totally agree” that the presence of cultural heritage influences their choice of holiday destinations, and in 2018, £17 billion were spent on heritage-related visits and trips

Heritage Economic Estimate Indicators

The Heritage Economic Estimate Indicators is an Excel spread sheet that provides detailed estimates of the national and regional economic impact of the heritage sector.

For a detailed breakdown of the estimates:

Heritage economy in the regions

We have also summarised the main findings from the workbook in a set of regional Heritage and the Economy documents:

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