Today, Arts Council of Wales opens its Wales Cultural Recovery Fund for applications. Part of the Welsh Government’s £53m emergency fund, the Arts Council will be investing £27.5m to help organisations stay afloat as they face the financial pressures of Covid-19.
The fund is made up of two grants:
The Wales Cultural Recovery Fund is jointly administered by the Welsh Government and the Arts Council of Wales. The Arts Council of Wales will allocate £25.5m of revenue funding and £2m of capital to arts organisations. These organisations can be not‑for‑profit and commercial but must be able to demonstrate they offer publicly accessible arts activity in Wales, and that they have been significantly affected by Covid‑19. The central purpose of this fund is to sustain organisations facing the threat of closure and help them to resume activity in 2021 and beyond.
Those receiving support from this fund will in return be expected to deliver something back to the Welsh public– what is being called the a ‘Cultural Contract’. The ‘Cultural Contract’ is designed to encourage organisations to transform the future reach and impact of their activities, improve the diversity of their boards and workforce, provide new opportunities for freelance artists, commit to fair rates of pay, and improve the environmental impact of what they do. The cultural contract is designed to ensure that, as organisations adapt to new ways of working, they ensure that public investment is deployed with a cultural and social purpose.
Commenting today, Phil George, Chair of Arts Council of Wales said:
“The announcement a fortnight ago of the Welsh Government’s £53m Cultural Recovery Fund was a welcome recognition of the importance of the arts to the well-being of the nation and to the country’s creative economy. This funding will help artists and arts organisations - struggling to remain afloat - to avoid the immediate threat of financial collapse. This will be crucial in sustaining the arts as bringers of joy, imagination, healing and social cohesion – all of which will be deeply needed as we move through and beyond the pandemic.”
Nick Capaldi, Chief Executive of Arts Council of Wales said:
“This funding is the latest instalment in an ongoing package of financial support to protect and defend cultural life in Wales. It’s quite clear that social distancing requirements will mean that the arts in general, and the performing arts in particular, are likely to be one of the last areas of public life to return from lockdown. This funding provides the vital lifeline that keeps Wales’ arts organisations in play, ready for the moment when they can welcome us back to enjoy and take part in the arts.
“But this isn’t just about marking time until we can resume the former glories of the past. What the COVID-19 crisis has taught us is that we must build back better, strive for greater inclusivity and use this terrible pandemic as a lever for change. So it’s not enough just to protect and defend – we must create a new future in which cultural activities reach more widely and deeply into every community in Wales.”
The Arts Council of Wales will be managing funds for:
- theatres, arts centres and concert halls
- organisations producing and touring arts activity
- organisations providing participatory arts activity
- grass roots music venues
- heritage sites
- local museums, libraries and archive services
- events and festivals
- independent cinemas
- individual freelance creative professionals
The Arts Council of Wales administered fund opens for applications on Monday 17 August and the closing date for applications is 5pm on Wednesday 9 September 2020. Details of how to apply for the funds managed by the Welsh Government will be provided shortly, including an online eligibility checker to allow companies the time to prepare applications ahead of the fund opening.
- Arts Council of Wales is the official public body charged with funding and supporting the arts in Wales.
- Cultural Contract - Those receiving support from this fund will be expected to sign up to the Welsh Government’s ‘Cultural Contract’. The Welsh Government’s vision is of a Wales that is fair, prosperous and confident, improving the quality of life of its people in all of the country’s communities. The development of a ‘Cultural Contract’ is designed to encourage applicants to adopt new commitments that ensure that public investment is deployed with a social purpose. This will build on the Welsh Government’s existing ‘Economic Contract’. Activity that we will expect applicants to demonstrate in their future plans include:
- Fair Work – ensuring appropriate rates of pay and maximising opportunities to engage and support freelance workers
- Board and workforce diversity – to increase the involvement, throughout the organisation and in the work you deliver, of Black people, non-Black people of colour, deaf and disabled people and people with other protected characteristics, including Welsh speakers
- Retained staff helping to support wider initiatives (for example contact tracing to support “Test, Trace, Protect”)
- Supporting arts and health initiatives, including social prescribing
- Environmental sustainability – minimising the environmental impact of your activities
- The Cultural Recovery Fund is jointly administered by the Welsh Government and the Arts Council of Wales. Of the £53m total, the Arts Council of Wales will allocate £25.5m of revenue funding and £2m of capital for arts organisations who have been affected by Covid‑19. Further details about the fund can be found here.
- The Arts Council of Wales’ Arts Resilience Fund - operational between April and July 2020 - was partly funded by the National Lottery. Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised every week across the UK for good causes, many of whom will be supporting the most vulnerable in communities during the Coronavirus crisis.