The Welsh Government is making £5.25m available to assist Wales' arts organisations, museums, libraries and independent cinemas through the winter months, the Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden has announced.
The purpose of this fund is to support organisations that are in genuine difficulty – at risk of closure or that jobs will be lost – unless further support is provided. This risk must be as a direct result of the ongoing impact of Covid-19.
The new fund will provide essential support to organisations in these cultural sectors across Wales, many of which are run on a voluntary or not-for-profit basis. This is in addition to the £60m fund announced by the First Minister to assist businesses affected by the new restrictions.
The Welsh Government and the Arts Council of Wales have worked together to analyse these sectors and identify the need for additional support, to ensure that organisations in these sectors remain viable over the coming months.
The fund, which will cover the period from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, opens for applications on Wednesday 12 January 2022 and applicants will need to have submitted an online application no later than the deadline of 5.00 pm on Wednesday 26 January 2022.
Over the course of the pandemic, the Welsh Government has provided £86.2m in funding to ensure the long term stability of the cultural sector across a number of funds, resulting in the vast majority, if not all venues, escaping permanent closure.
Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden, said:
“The Covid pandemic has been a difficult period for us all. Despite commendable innovation and resilience, the people and organisations which make our cultural sector so vibrant and economically stable have been severely impacted by the pandemic.
“The Welsh Government has made substantial support available to ensure venues avoided permanent closure. I’m pleased the support we’ve made available has had a very positive impact on the sector, but we know the sector continues to face new pressures, which is why we’re making this additional funding available.
“While many organisations are affected by COVID-19, it’s important funds are given to those in the most urgent need. This fund is about survival, it is about not compensating for temporarily reduced profits. We’d therefore ask you to think carefully about whether you need to make an application to this fund.”
Chairman of the Arts Council of Wales, Phil George, said:
“Through this fund, the Arts Council will continue to provide essential support to ensure the viability and survival of cultural organisations across Wales who are facing a period of serious financial challenge.
“Working alongside colleagues in Welsh Government, we are determined to ensure that arts and cultural organisations who play a key role in the wellbeing of communities across Wales will be able to bring solace, delight and vision as we struggle with the pandemic and as we recover and rebuild.”