More details have been announced of emergency funding for culture in Wales – part of the UK government’s £1.57bn rescue package to help the arts, culture and heritage sectors recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Welsh Government is working with the Arts Council of Wales to jointly administer the Cultural Recovery Fund, which will hand out £53m of the £59m that was allocated to Wales in the rescue package.
The government has not yet confirmed where the remaining £6m will go. Funds for local museums, archives and heritage sites, as well as freelance creative professionals, will be distributed by the Welsh Government from a pot of £25.5m.
Funds for galleries will be available from the Arts Council of Wales, which will administer £25.5m revenue funding and £2m capital funding. This pot will also support organisations that produce and tour arts activity, and those that provide participatory arts activity.
The government said the fund will have a “cultural contract at its heart to help the sector emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever”. This is intended to build on the government’s existing contract of fair work and pay, and sustainability.
It will address areas such as:
- Board diversity
- Retained staff to support wider initiatives
- Social prescribing
- Health and arts initiatives
- Environmental sustainability
The government and arts council are currently finalising details of the scheme and expect it to open for applications in mid-August, with decisions made in mid-October.
Wales’s deputy minister for culture, Dafydd Elis-Thomas, said: “We recognise the massive and unprecedented challenges the pandemic is having on the very fabric of Welsh life and we applaud the resilience and creativity on show.
"This package will help support many in the sectors in responding to the pressures and challenges coronavirus has placed on them, it also presents a unique opportunity to deliver a step change – we will develop a cultural contract so that the sector can re-emerge stronger.
"This would ensure successful applicants commit to ensuring public investment is deployed with a positive, targeted social purpose, which is only right.”
Arts Council of Wales chief executive Nick Capaldi said: “With many arts organisations facing the imminent threat of insolvency, and freelancers struggling to see when they’ll secure their next paid work, these funds ease the immediate threat of a collapse in the creative sector.
“These funds offer artists and arts organisations a breathing space to stabilise their activities and encourage them to commit to the new cultural contract. It’s not enough just to protect and defend – we must create a new future in which cultural activities reach more widely and deeply across all of the public in Wales.”