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£5.25m Cultural Winter Stability Fund established

Sefydlu Cronfa Sefydlogrwydd Diwylliannol y Gaeaf gwerth £5.25m

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 today.

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.”

Notes to editors

The Cultural Winter Stability Fund will be administered by the Arts Council of Wales, with support from the Welsh Government.

Applicants must be from one of the following:

Either (each of the following criteria must be met):

  • A professional arts venue based in Wales, or an arts organisation that directly engages 'face to face' with the public on a paid for participation basis.
  • formally constituted as one of the following:
  • a Company Limited by Guarantee
  • a registered charity (including charitable trusts)
  • a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)
  • a Community Interest Company (CIC)
  • a Company Limited by Shares (see public benefit criteria below)
  • an Unincorporated Association
  • a Partnership, including a Limited Liability Partnership
  • University or other Public Body running cultural activity
  • contributing to the cultural life of Wales by providing creative activities that people can enjoy and take part in
  • working mainly (50%+) in one of our supported disciplines (music, dance, theatre, literature, visual and applied arts, combined arts, Digital Art)
  • able to show a track record (within the last three years) of providing publicly accessible arts activity that has a public benefit
  • delivering the majority of your work (60%+) in Wales

Or (one of the following must apply) -

  • An Independent Accredited museum (including Working Towards Accreditation) as at 1 October 2021; or
  • An Independent and Community Library; or
  • An Independent Cinema.