Theatres, festivals and arts industry in Wales to receive £53million to deal with impact of pandemic

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Credit: PA Images

Theatres, festivals and other art venues in Wales are to receive £53million to help the sector deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, made the announcement on Thursday, 30 July and hopes the money will support many responding to the current pressures.

The money will be delivered jointly with the Arts Council of Wales and has a “cultural contract” to help the sector.

The Cultural Recovery Fund will help galleries, theatres, music venues, events and festivals and independent cinemas

The Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Lord Elis-Thomas said:

“We recognise the massive and unprecedented challenges the pandemic is having on the very fabric of Welsh life and we applaud the resilience and creativity on show.

“This package will help support many in the sectors in responding to the pressures and challenges coronavirus has placed on them, it also presents a unique opportunity to deliver a step change – we will develop a cultural contract so that the sector can re-emerge stronger."

The money will help protect jobs in the sector. Credit: PA Images

The announcement comes after TV and film producers in Wales were told they would be eligible for funding to help productions that may have been halted by the coronavirus pandemic. More than £500 million for UK film and TV productions struggling to get coronavirus-related insurance has been earmarked by the UK Government's Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden.

Meanwhile, Nick Capaldi the Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Wales said the money will ease "the immediate threat of collapse in the creative sector."

“The announcement of these additional funds is the signal of support that the arts in Wales has been waiting for.

“With many arts organisations facing the imminent threat of insolvency, and freelancers struggling to see when they’ll secure their next paid work, these funds ease the immediate threat of a collapse in the creative sector. 

“These funds offer artists and arts organisations a breathing space to stabilise their activities and encourage them to commit to the new cultural contract. It’s not enough just to protect and defend – we must create a new future in which cultural activities reach more widely and deeply across all of the public in Wales."