West End Theatre - A Billion Pound Industry

A MORI survey of the West End theatre industry has revealed "Theatreland" as an economic powerhouse bolstering the UK economy with thousands of jobs, millions of pounds of tourist and industry spending, creating significant tax yields and a major balance of payments surplus.

A MORI survey of the West End theatre industry has revealed "Theatreland" as an economic powerhouse bolstering the UK economy with thousands of jobs, millions of pounds of tourist and industry spending, creating significant tax yields and a major balance of payments surplus.

The Wyndham Report, commissioned by The Society of London Theatre (SOLT), is the first ever investigation into the scale of the West End theatre industry.

The report reveals:

  • The total economic impact of West End theatre in 1997 was 1631,075 million
  • 41,000 jobs depend on West End theatre
  • West End theatre-goers spent 163433 million on restaurants, hotels, transport and merchandise in 1997 in addition to 163250 million on tickets
  • 11.5 million seats were sold in 1997 (compared, for example, with 4 million for Greater London's 13 league football teams)
  • West End theatre is one of the UK's biggest tourist attractions
  • West End theatre contributed a 163225 million surplus to the UK's balance of payments in 1997
  • As net currency earner for the UK, West End theatre is similar in size to the entire UK advertising, accounting and management consultancy industries - and hugely bigger than the UK film and television industry
  • Tax revenues of more than 163200million were produced by West End theatre in 1997
  • London remains the Theatre Capital of the world with more shows and bigger audiences than anywhere else, including Broadway
  • World-wide earnings of the biggest British shows dwarf those of Hollywood blockbuster films (eg Titanic or Jurassic Park

Technical details

The Wyndham Report was prepared by Tony Travers, Director of the Greater London Group at the London School of Economics. Data was compiled by MORI from fieldwork between November 1996 and November 1997.

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