Welsh Government Press Release: £18m support for the culture, creative and sport sector in Wales

More than £18m will support the creative industries, culture and sport sectors, which are feeling the immediate impact of COVID-19.

The package of measures, which was announced by Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas today, will help support the sector, safeguarding businesses and jobs.

The funding is being made available by the Welsh Government, the Arts Council for Wales and Sport Wales. It includes:

  • £7m Arts Resilience Fund led by the Arts Council of Wales. Working with the Arts Council, this fund will support artists and arts organisations most in need and least likely to benefit from other support programmes. Further announcements will be made about how the fund will be distributed.
  • £8m Sport Resilience Fund. This will be used to support sports clubs and partner networks which play such a vital role in ensuring the nation is able to remain active and enjoy all the health and wellbeing benefits that sport brings. The fund will be led by Sport Wales.
  • £1m Creative Wales fund will provide support for grassroots music venues to respond to immediate pressures (up to £25K per business), and additional support for the TV and publishing sector to allow it to consider future opportunities. Examples will include working on new content ideas for TV and new digital experiences
  • £1m Cultural Resilience Fund for museums, collections, conservation services, archives and community and public libraries to respond to short-term pressures and recovery actions on a grant application basis.
  • £750k Emergency Relief Fund to support the smallest and most vulnerable independent sector sport, museum and heritage organisations with cash flow and other critical issues. This includes two grant programmes administered by the Welsh Museums Federation and Sport Wales.
  • £250k Digital Library Resources, which will enable public libraries to provide additional digital resources to the public and gives people resources to read and engage with whilst self-isolating.

The Deputy Minister said:

“We’ve listened to our many stakeholders in these vulnerable sectors. These are uncertain times for business and organisations across Wales and we recognise the massive and unprecedented challenges coronavirus is having on the fabric of Welsh life.

“The Welsh Government is committed to doing everything possible to support the resilience, creativity and partnership which is being shown by the sector.  

“I’d like to thank our partner organisations for working with us in delivering this additional package of support. 

“Taking this further step will enable this sector to withstand this difficult time and to hopefully thrive again – and bring communities together once more when the emergency has passed.”

 ENDS

 

Notes:

Speaking today, Arts Council of Wales Chair, Phil George said: 

“The Arts have always provided enjoyment and solace, especially in times of crisis.  They are sorely missed in a world confined to self‑isolation and will be hugely important in the period of recovery from this grim pandemic.  It’s therefore essential that we do everything possible to ensure that artists and arts organisations survive and regain their position at the heart of Wales’s culture and well‑being”

“Through the Arts Recovery Fund, £7m of funding will be available for those organisations and individuals who are at the most urgent risk. Our first task is to address immediate financial crisis and hardship.

“We have already relaxed funding requirements for organisations and individuals who have grant funding in place, allowing them to respond flexibly to the new challenges that they face.  But today we go further.  The Arts Recovery Fund will bridge the gap between immediate crisis and a future of new creative activity post‑Coronavirus, a future which is already stirring in the imaginations of our inventive artistic community.”

Sport Wales’ acting chief executive Brian Davies added:

“We’re really grateful to Welsh Government for this additional funding – it really will be a lifeline for community clubs.

“Our staff are working hard to set up an application process for the emergency relief fund, which will enable us to provide funding as quickly as possible to those who need it most.

“Given the enormity of the current crisis, we anticipate receiving a significant number of applications, and we’ll need to direct funds to where they are most needed.”

Sport Wales and the Welsh Government have worked together to identify an initial fund of up to £8.1m in addition to the emergency relief fund.

This will be used to support sports clubs and partner networks, which help people to stay active and enjoy all the health and wellbeing benefits that sport brings. Sport Wales will continue to seek the views of the sector to shape further requirements and ensure that this fund compliments the other support programmes available from Welsh Government.

Mr Davies added:

“We’re also working through other sources of funding and support so that we maximise the help we can give. 

“It’s a quickly-changing situation and we are communicating with our partners and clubs as much as possible. We will be working closely with our partners over the coming weeks to determine together how best to use the fund to support sport in Wales.”

Victoria Rogers, President of Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales, said:

“We’re very pleased that Welsh Government has made this funding available for museums and heritage attractions across Wales.  These organisations are often at the absolute core of their local communities, delivering significant impacts on wellbeing, the economy, community cohesion and education, delivering against the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act.  We are seeing great initiatives from many at the moment, delivering their public services in new ways and this funding will ensure that many of our members survive the worst effects of the Covid-19 crisis and are able to continue to be the heart of their localities.”