The policy column

Heledd Fychan, Issue 117/02, p17, 01.02.2017
It's a big year for Welsh museums
It will be an important year for the museum sector in Wales, as the Welsh government prepares to publish a museums strategy.

Ken Skates, the cabinet secretary for economy and infrastructure (who also has responsibility for heritage and culture), has said it will set out the Welsh government’s support for museums over the next five years. It is also due to take into account the recommendations of the Expert Review of Local Museum Provision in Wales, published in 2015, as well as his recent culture statement Light Springs through the Dark: A Vision for Culture in Wales, and the Welsh government’s Programme for Government, which featured the proposal to create Historic Wales.

The Museums Association (MA) and the Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales have shown concern about delays in acting on the recommendations of the Local Museum Review, which set out key milestones to be completed by autumn 2015. So last month’s progress update gave some comfort that the proposals remain a priority for the Welsh government.

Another positive was the fact that the update confirmed that the strategy was imminent. Given the fragility of the sector in Wales, a lot is riding on the content of the strategy.

It is hoped that it will tackle the difficulties museums are facing in Wales and provide a framework to support their survival – something the MA will be keeping a close eye on.

Heledd Fychan is the corporate affairs and advocacy manager for Amgueddfa Cymru (National Museum Wales) and an MA board member