The Welsh Government is making £15.4 million available to support the arts and cultural sector in Wales during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden has announced today.
The additional support, as part of the third round of the Welsh Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund, is being made available for the cultural sector in Wales as it continues to be severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fund will specifically support organisations impacted by the recent alert level 2 measures Ministers have put in place to keep Wales safe, and help control the rapid spread of the new omicron variant.
The Arts Council of Wales will launch its application process for organisations within the arts sector today. The previously announced winter stability fund has now been merged into the third round of CRF to ensure alignment with the funding support on offer.
Other impacted sectors including music venues, heritage sites, event venues and organisers, independent local museums, community and independent libraries, galleries and independent cinemas who were previously supported via the Welsh Government’s CRF will be contacted by letter during the week commencing 17 January. The letter will set out how they can access funding support.
There will also be support for eligible business and organisations which have not received support via CRF to date, if they meet the criteria. More information will be available on Business Wales.
Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden, said:
“We are fully aware that these impacted sectors continue to face new pressures, which is why we’ve been working with the Arts Council to make this additional funding available as soon as possible.
“The innovation and resilience which has been demonstrated by the people and organisations which make these sectors so vibrant has been remarkable, we want to ensure that the sector continues to play a part in our recovery from the pandemic and in bringing people together once more.
“The culture sector also plays an important part in our economy and this is yet another step in the support that we are offering to businesses. Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve provided over £2.6 billion of support to businesses throughout Wales to help them manage their way through difficult circumstances.
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. The need for this support has obviously become even more urgent as a result of the impact of the Omicron variant.
To be eligible, businesses will have to self-declare that they have experienced a material impact through reduced turnover between December 2021 and February 2022.
The Welsh Government is also aware of the impact the current alert level two measure is having on our creative freelance community in the performing arts and are looking to increase support available to them. More details will be provided during the week commencing 17 January.
This third round builds on the previous two phases of the Cultural Recovery Fund which have provided £93 million and has supported business, organisations and individuals in the key cultural sectors.