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The debt of the cultural and entertainment industry amounts to nearly PLN 63 million. New BIG InfoMonitor data

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Over the last year, the cultural and entertainment industry has seen its debt increase by nearly two thirds, to nearly PLN 63 million. According to BIG InfoMonitor, this is the result of high wage pressure as well as the rising costs of maintaining facilities.

The cultural and entertainment industry is having more and more problems paying its liabilities. According to the BIG InfoMonitor report, during the year companies conducting creative activities related to culture and entertainment increased their unpaid liabilities, registered in the BIG InfoMonitor and BIK databases, by almost two thirds to nearly PLN 63 million. Meanwhile, at the end of February last year, the arrears of such entities amounted to PLN 38.5 million.

The cultural and entertainment industry with debts

The authors of the report indicated that the number of unreliable debtors, including active, suspended and closed enterprises, increased from 984 to 1,038. – The largest share in debts (almost PLN 23 million compared to PLN 17 million a year ago) is still held by a group of companies associated with staging artistic performances, i.e. among others activities of orchestras, musical groups and activities of individual artists such as actors, dancers, singers, lectors or presenters – explained the authors of the study.

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They noticed that the biggest increase – from PLN 2.2 to PLN 16 million – was the arrears of cultural facilities: theaters and concert halls, galleries and exhibition halls, houses and cultural centers and community centers.

Looking at the percentage differences, the increase in outstanding debt in all categories of entities conducting creative activities is exceptionally high – it was assessed. However, as the authors of the report emphasize, it is worth looking at the numbers, because they no longer look so dangerous. – For example, the PLN 14 million increase in outstanding liabilities of cultural facilities is due to one small renovation or higher bills of several theaters – they pointed out.

What are the reasons for the growing debt of the cultural and entertainment industry?

– The reason for such a significant deterioration of their situation is primarily the rising operating costs. Gas, electricity, heating, but also the cost of maintaining order and minor renovations increased by up to several hundred percent – explained the authors of the report.

In their opinion, cultural units have found themselves in a “kind of vice” in recent years. – On the one hand, a huge increase in the costs of maintaining facilities and, on the other hand, a reduction in the amounts of subsidies and subsidies from local governments, which themselves were struggling with loss of income, among others. as a result of changes in the way of redistributing personal income tax revenues, as well as restrictions on expenditure on culture in many household budgets – noted in the report.

– Some private theaters and well-known public theaters are coping quite well even in these difficult conditions. At the other extreme, there are cultural institutions in smaller towns that are under great financial pressure, which often makes it impossible to repay their debt on time, said Sławomir Grzelczak, president of BIG InfoMonitor. – Analyzing trends, including: an increase in the number of viewers and quickly sold out premieres, theaters and other cultural institutions should recover from the crisis in the near future. Their situation should also be improved by more realistic budget planning by cities and communes responsible for cultural institutions, Grzelczak concluded.

Interest in culture in Poland is growing

As reported by the authors of the study, both CBOS and Central Statistical Office reports confirm that interest in culture in Poland is growing. In 2022, theaters and music institutions staged over 53,000. performances and concerts attended by 9.3 million viewers is 96.2 percent more than in 2021, which was difficult due to Covid restrictions. They added that, according to CBOS reports, 19% of people declared a visit to the theater in 2022. respondents, and every third respondent was at the concert.

– Last year, this indicator in the case of theaters increased to 22 percent, of which almost half (10 percent) are people who visited the theater several times during the year. However, 42% of people attended the concert in 2023. Poles. – indicated in the report.

It was also reported that in 2022 and 2023, cultural institutions also recorded an increase in total revenues, by 17.7%, respectively. and 16.2 percent y/y. Total costs increased by 17.7%. in 2022 and 15.7 percent in 2023. In the general costs of cultural institutions last year, the costs of entities operating cultural facilities had the largest share – 40.8%.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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