Welsh government announces £2.7m for culture and poverty agenda - Museums Association

Welsh government announces £2.7m for culture and poverty agenda

Investment aims to widen access to museums, libraries and archives
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Rebecca Atkinson
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Welsh museums, libraries and archives are to be given £2.7m to help deliver the recommendations made by Kay Andrews in her Culture and Poverty report, it was announced last week.

Published in March 2014, the report explored how social justice could be promoted through arts, culture and heritage, and made a number of recommendations, including more joint-working across the sector to ensure culture is accessible to all.

Ken Skates, the deputy minister for culture, sport and tourism, said that £1.7m would be used to widen access and encourage the use of collections, with £235,000 for programmes to increase the number of users in Communities First areas – the country’s 100 most disadvantaged communities.

The funding will also help deliver an enhanced Sharing Treasures Programme, where local museums work in partnership with larger museums, and matched funding for the National Manuscripts Conservation Trust.

Many of the programmes being funded will support the 2016 Year of Adventure initiative, launched to promote Wales as the capital of adventure tourism.

A modernisation programme to turn seven public libraries into community hubs will be funded with the remaining £1m. A further £255,000 has also been announced to establish a free national digital library service.

“Tackling poverty is at the heart of our community policy in Wales, which is why I am committed to ensuring this funding will be used to widen access to culture in some of our most deprived areas,” Skates said.

“The funding will go towards a range of projects and will provide a valuable boost, enabling local museums, archives and libraries to develop their services and improve facilities, including widening digital services, making it easier for the public to access these important services.

“I want to see Wales become the most creative nation in Europe and to achieve this it is vital that everyone is able to access the treasures available in our museums, archives and libraries, and be inspired.”



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