Ken Skates, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism
In March 2015, Huw Lewis AM, the Minister for Education and Skills and I jointly commissioned a task and finish group to look at long term solutions to safeguard the future of the National Youth Arts Ensembles of Wales. These organisations are under threat because of ongoing cuts to public spending from Westminster.
It is our goal to safeguard these services, to ensure that talented young musicians, artists and dancers from all backgrounds continue to have the opportunity to train and perform at the highest level, with the best talents in their field.
The task and finish group has now completed its report. We welcome the recommendations which include actions for the Welsh Government, Arts Council of Wales, local authorities and National Youth Arts Wales (NYAW - the umbrella body for the ensembles). These recommendations call for the unification and simplification of the organisational structure of NYAW, and for a remodelling of its funding arrangements. The report provides a clear direction for the ensembles to continue to flourish.
A detailed programme of action to take forward the recommendations is now being developed. We believe that if they are fully implemented, these actions will go a long way to ensure the future of the ensembles.
We therefore encourage all the key stakeholders to work together, to make the changes needed to ensure the future stability of these iconic institutions.