Theatre in Wales

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Theatre venues in Wales need an extra 50 million     

AROUND £50m needs to be injected into the arts in Wales if the industry is to thrive, according to an audit of performing arts venues.

The report, carried out by Creu Cymru, was initiated by the National Assembly.

Copies of the report are believed to have been distributed to members of the Arts Council of Wales and are now being considered by the Assembly.

The report concludes that many venues require "urgent capital investment" to improve facilities for both the public and performers and to enhance their ability to maintain and develop audiences.

"Many venues wish to improve their technical facilities to allow the promotion of high-quality performances and to be able to respond to the growing technical requirements of touring companies."

"The large-scale venues are generally adequately staffed for the programmes they are promoting but the staffing situation is patchier for middle-scale venues.

"Certain venues find that their level of programming is restricted by the number of technical staff they can afford; others are unable to sustain the specialist marketing expertise needed to develop long-term strategies for developing and maintaining audiences."

The report adds that some venues are concerned that they are able to offer staff only minimum salaries and no benefits and that existing staff are moving out of Wales in order to achieve higher salaries.

"It is clear that the ACW-funded venues would wish to increase staff resources should additional funding become available."

It is six months since Culture Minister Jenny Randerson stated the audit would be carried out, saying, "By undertaking an audit of arts venues across Wales we will be given a view, identifying what is available, who manages it, its physical condition and what type of productions it puts on and is capable of putting on.

"This work is vital in the context of the development of the Wales Millennium Centre."

Yesterday a spokeswoman for the National Assembly said Mrs Randerson had not yet received a copy of the report .

A spokeswoman for the Arts Council of Wales said, "As soon as the final draft is completed it will be made available to the general public. We anticipate this will be during early November."
Western Mail  
web site
Karen Price
Friday, October 26, 2001back



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