31 March 2022
Request for Information – ATISN 16210
Thank you for your request for information dated 29 March.
Specific levels and amounts of covid financial support and loans provided to Wales running event companies over the last 3 years, specifically:
- Always Aim High
- Activity Wales
I can confirm we hold some information captured by your request.
With regard to COVID financial support to Wales running companies over the last 3 years and specifically the 3 named in your enquiry, details of recipients of Phase 1 of the Economic Resilience Fund are publicly available on the Business Wales website: Welsh Government Economic Resilience Fund Phase 1 Awarded Organisations and those in receipt of support from the Cultural Recovery Fund Phase 1 are listed here Wales Cultural Recovery Fund Awarded Organisations Phase 1 (Business Wales).
Information regarding Phases 2 and 3 of the Cultural Recovery Fund will be published in due course and is therefore currently withheld under Section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000: Information Intended for Future Publication. Full reasoning for applying this exemption is appended at Annex A, at the bottom of this letter. Recipients of CRF Phases 2 and 3 were exempted from further rounds of the ERF.
I can confirm that the Welsh Government has not provided any loans to Wales running companies over the last 3 years.
If you are dissatisfied with the Welsh Government’s handling of your request, you can ask for an internal review within 40 working days of the date of this response. Requests for an internal review should be addressed to the Welsh Government’s Freedom of Information Officer at:
Information Rights Unit, Welsh Government, Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NQ or Email: Freedom.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please remember to quote the ATISN reference number above.
You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
However, please note that the Commissioner will not normally investigate a complaint until it has been through our own internal review process.
Section 22 – Information Intended for Future Publication
Section 22 states that Information is exempt information if –
- The information is held by the public authority with a view to its publication, by the authority or any other person, at some future date (whether determined or not)
- The information was already held with a view to such publication at the time the request for information was made, and
- It is reasonable in all the circumstances that the information should be withheld from disclosure until the date referred to in paragraph a).
I am of the opinion that subsections (a) and (b) above are met because the Phases 2 and 3 of the Cultural Recovery Fund grant awardees along with the amounts awarded is held with a view to its publication. This information will be published in due course in line with normal procedures.
With regards to part (c), I have given consideration as to whether it would be ‘reasonable in all the circumstances’ that the information should be withheld from disclosure until the proposed publication date. I am of the opinion that releasing the information at this time would cause disruption to the Welsh Government’s intentions in relation to its publication arrangements. Thus I am content that the exemption is engaged.
Section 22 is a public interest exemption. This means that, in order to withhold information, I must show that the public interest in withholding is greater than the public interest in releasing it.
In terms of the public interest, it is recognised that there is public interest in there being openness and transparency within Government.
The proposed publication date for this information has been agreed as part of normal business and will be published on the Welsh Government in due course.
Whilst the Welsh Government has committed to publishing information of this nature on our website, there is a thorough validation process which is undertaken on the information to ensure its accuracy. By restricting access to the grant information ahead of publication, we will be publishing the information in a co-ordinated manner to all people at the same time, thereby ensuring an editorial process is adhered to which will confirm the accuracy of the information.
An accelerated release of the Phases 2 and 3 of the Cultural Recovery Fund grant information might result in inaccurate, unchecked information being disclosed prematurely, misleading the public.
To that end, I do not think it is reasonable in all the circumstances or in the public interest to release this information prematurely. Rather, I believe the public interest would be best served if the information were released as scheduled.
I am satisfied therefore that the balance of the public interest falls in favour of withholding the information.