6.7.1.4 Budgeting for Public Investment

Investments, in research or infrastructure for example, may be economically justifiable in terms of enabling future growth (3.2.8) or as a stimulus to reduce unemployment during an economic downturn (3.3.8.2).  For each project, though, politicians also need to gain political support, which partly depends upon their ability to explain the economic case and partly upon it being seen to have wider benefits.

People can sometimes be persuaded to support a project on the basis of improved quality of life even if the financial return on investment is meagre or difficult to prove.  One example was described in the BBC article, High hopes in Margate for Turner Contemporary art gallery boost:

“hopes are high that it will do for the town what Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum has done for the fortunes of Bilbao in Northern Spain.

Closer to home the use of culture and the arts has also become increasingly common in the regeneration process.

The North East is one of the leading examples of how it can have a positive impact. The development of the Sage music venue and Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead have shown that unique cultural projects like these can not only boost visitors to an area but also help create environmental, economic and social benefits.”

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