Theatre in Wales

Commentary and extended critical writing on theatre, dance and performance in Wales

The Arts Council of Wales call to action to the Na

the reponse I received from the ACW to some recent enquiries I madde regarding the advocacy role played by the ACW in relation to the future of theatr

Thank you for your recent interest in the Arts Council of Wales regarding its work to increase the economic base for the arts in Wales.

Your e-mail (dated 19.5.00) stated "It's striking that the ACE are actively lobbying on behalf of theatre in England while the ACW has apparently given up the ghost."

One of the corporate aims of the Arts Council of Wales (ACW), as published in its Annual Report 1998/99 is to 'increase resources for the arts by advocating the arts and ensuring their inclusion in the policies of agencies in Wales and beyond.'

ACW takes this aim very seriously and the following is a brief account of ACW's work in this regard:

1) ACW published its call to action to the National Assembly for Wales in March 1999. The following is an extract from it:

"For Wales to benefit from the social, economic and educational opportunities the arts offer, the National Assembly should consider the need to:

invest at least 1 million more, on top of current spending plans, to address the under-funding of the arts in Wales. Combined central and local government funding, excluding Lottery, has fallen by over 15% in value since 1993/94. The arts are on the edge of a financial precipice. The cash required is tiny, less than one 10th of one percent of total public spending in Wales, but its impact would be huge
press for Wales to receive a fairer share of Lottery money for the arts. Currently it receives only 5% of UK arts Lottery money but its share of charities and the New Opportunities Fund Lottery money is 6.4%. If the arts in Wales had this share this could mean an extra 3 million each year

have a committee with specific responsibility for cultural strategies and identify culture as a prominent portfolio of one of the Assembly Secretaries

recognise that the arts and cultural industries can help the National Assembly achieve its ambitions for Wales and integrate them into all its policy-making including economic development, community regeneration and education

seek advice from the wide range of agencies and bodies which deliver cultural activity in Wales - national and local, professional and voluntary, subsidised and commercial - and develop an integrated approach to cultural policy

encourage all the agencies and bodies in the cultural sector to work together to foster creative growth"

The resources available to ACW for 1999 - 2002 include a grant-in-aid budget from the National Assembly for Wales of 14.541m in 1999/2000 (excluding the ring-fenced Dance and Drama Student Scheme). This is a rise of 2.48% on 1998/99. It is forecast to rise to 15.447m in 2001/02, an increase of perhaps 1% in real terms on current projections.

In spring 2000, the National Assembly for Wales made available to ACW a grant of 100,000 for 2000/200 for arts projects focusing on activities which foster social inclusion.

2) ACW's Annual Report for 1999/2000 outlines, on page 14, ACW's record of work in the area of advocacy. The following is an extract:

"ACW's Planning and Public Affairs Division …

published The Economic Impact of the Arts and Cultural Industries in Wales jointly with the Welsh Development Agency, the Development Board for Rural Wales and S4C
launched A Digest of Facts and Figures on the Arts in Wales, Case Studies on the Arts, an exhibition and electronic presentation to promote the benefits of the arts and cultural industries
worked with the Welsh Local Government Association towards ensuring all local authorities have effective arts plans, a common approach to good practice for arts development initiatives and 'best value' indicators for the arts
produced the Arts and Cultural Industries in Regional Development Sector study which set out their role in regional regeneration

represented the arts in Wales on the European Task Force to ensure that the sector should benefit from sustainable economic development initiatives funded by European Structural Funds for Wales
took an active part on the UK Cultural Tourism group
funded Cultural Enterprise Service to assist artists and arts organisations to develop the business aspects of their work
supported the Informal European Theatre Meeting in Cardiff attended by over 200 overseas promoters. This generated bookings for Welsh artists and raised Wales' profile in Europe

Clwyd Theatr Cymru's annual revenue grant announcement

You have also enquired about when there will be an announcement of the annual revenue grant to Clwyd Theatr Cymru. which will include grants approved at ACW's Council meeting on Friday 12th May and this will be sent to you on Friday in the usual way.

You may also be interested to note that the report of grants approved at that Council meeting will be included on the agenda of the forthcoming media briefing. This regular media briefing is held after each ACW Council meeting for members of the media to be informed of issues arising from those meetings.


original source: Press Office. Arts Council of Wales
24 May 2000


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