Significant increase in participation in arts activities by West Midlands’ residents

August 2008 saw the much anticipated release of the Taking Part Survey 2006/07 results.

The annual survey, produced by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, collects data about engagement and non-engagement in culture, leisure and sport by adults aged 16 and over. The latest results show a number of positive trends for the West Midlands.

There was a significant increase in participation in at least one arts activity during the last 12 months.

52.3% of respondents from the West Midlands had participated in an arts activity in 2006/07, compared with 48.9% in 2005/06.

This has moved the West Midlands ‘up the rankings’ compared to other regions. Having now overtaken Yorkshire & Humberside and London, the region has moved from 7th to 5th place in the 12 month period.

In a year which saw decreases in London resident’s level of participation for all activities, there were changes to the regional rankings for the majority of activities.

Although confidence levels make it difficult to make definitive conclusions, attendance to archives by respondents from the West Midlands appears now to be the highest of any region. The 0.2% increase in participation has moved the region from 3rd position to 1st.

There are also signs of slight increases in residents’ participation in historic environment sites (+1.3%), museums and galleries (+1.3%) and active sport (+0.4%). Slight decreases in participation only seem to have occurred for arts events (-0.9%) and libraries (-0.4%)

Of all the possible cultural activities, people in the West Midlands are most likely to visit Historic Environment Sites and Arts Events, a trend which applies to all regions

View a chart which demonstrates cultural participation trends in the region between 2005-2007:

West Midlands Cultural Participation Patterns 2005-2007

It will be interesting to see whether Sport England’s Active People Survey 2007/08 shows up similar sports participation trends, when results are published later this year.

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