Theatre in Wales

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A big increase in funding ahead for the Arts Council of Wales...     

This is an extract from the Note from the Minister for Culture, Sport and the Welsh Language for the 7th November meeting. The full text is available from their web site (click on their name below to visit it.)


7. The Chairman confirmed in his letter to me of 24 July that the Committee wanted to see the following priorities:

Investment in arts projects for and by young people - including the establishment of a National Youth Arts Fund; and better provision of studios and rehearsal facilities for young artists.

An increase in revenue support for the Welsh National Opera, and in the Arts Council of Wales' contribution to the stabilisation process.

Proposals for increased use of the Welsh language, and an investigation into the possibility of a BT/University of Wales Press computer programme for an English-Welsh, Welsh-English dictionary.

Support for the National Botanic Garden.

Support for the one-off start costs for an International Theatre Institute for Wales.

An even-handed distribution of funds throughout Wales.
8. I have paid heed to the Committee's views that arts projects should be the first priority, and have accordingly concentrated the bulk of new money on increasing the budget of the Arts Council of Wales. This should enable the Council to deliver the commitments in my Culture Strategy, and also provides the Council with the means to consider funding for the particular projects favoured by the Committee - including an appropriate level of support for the Welsh National Opera.

Arts Council of Wales

Provision: £20.78m/£22.79m/£22.79m.

16. The Arts Council will receive £2.734million additional to its baseline from 2002-03. This is on top of the £1.265m increase already in the baseline for next year, and allows us to move forward to tackle some of the Assembly’s top priorities quickly, and make progress on the Cabinet’s new Culture Strategy. We are also able to fund the commitments highlighted in the "Partnership Agreement" and the "Plan for Wales". For example, the settlement will allow the ACW to progress developmental work on the Arts Database/Website.

17. In addition, it will allow ACW to provide a stabilisation programme with the Arts Council of England for the Welsh National Opera. This will enable WNO to establish a sound financial base for the business and to consolidate activity through a major restructuring exercise. The settlement would also enable ACW to support an extra week’s touring to Swansea.

The settlement will enable ACW to boost Wales Arts International to maximise the opportunities presented from events, both abroad and within the UK.

18. An important aim of the Assembly is to have in place inclusive policies for young people. I would like to see ACW channelling funding for Arts for Young People to increase the number of pilot youth arts strategies across Wales, to take forward good practice and disseminate it across Wales, and also to enable the Young People Task Force to take forward its large agenda of work. More generally, the settlement enables ACW to fund Arts Schemes which will support project based activity taking arts into the lives of more people in Wales through, for example, local festivals, artists in schools, out of hours drama clubs and community development projects.

19. The settlement will also allow ACW to increase funding to Revenue Clients and improve the financial and artistic sustainability of the arts sector in Wales. It is also important that the arts across Wales are developed as an integral part of the development of the Wales Millennium Centre.

20. The settlement enables ACW to help fund projects to celebrate the Year of Cultural Diversity in 2002, and also to help with the professional development and training for practitioners from the black and ethnic minority communities.

21. These are the main priorities. In addition, there is sufficient flexibility in the current baselines to allow ACW to add further priorities in addition to these I have set out here.

Wales Millennium Centre (WMC)

22. Provision for the WMC has been established separately to the Budget Round, and funds will be made available to the Project as and when they are required, subject of course to the project demonstrating need.
National Assembly of Wales  
web site

Saturday, November 03, 2001back



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