Wales

Arts Council Wales says it hopes to avoid 50% cuts

Cast of National Theatre Wales production, A Good Night In The Valleys
Image caption The Arts Council of Wales helps funds the National Theatre Wales, and its performances like 'A Good Night Out In The Valleys'

The body funding Welsh arts says it is not expecting to have to make the level of cuts forced on its sister body in England by the Spending Review.

Arts Council Wales (ACW) chief executive Nick Capaldi said it was "unlikely" it would have 50% cuts.

But he warned it would review strategies if it got a "really terrible funding settlement" from the assembly government.

The assembly government will announce its draft budget on Wednesday.

Mr Capaldi said he believed the ACW had "argued the case" and "got the message across".

It holds its annual general meeting on Wednesday as the assembly government announces how it plans to divide up the cash it has in its draft budget.

Mr Capaldi said the council had already taken the "difficult decisions by saying we are going to support some organisations, but not others".

In June, the ACW announced in June it would stop funding 32 groups following its investment review.

Arts case

"We are hoping by the end of November we will have a picture of the lie of the land as far as support from the Welsh Assembly Government goes," he said.

"If we get a really terrible funding settlement from the authorities we would be forced to look again at the strategies that have been agreed.

"However, I really hope that we are not going to be in that situation and I think that the Welsh Assembly Government has listened sympathetically to the arguments that we have been putting forward."

Some groups have already announced that they will not be able to continue when their ACW funding ends in March 2011.

Other major players are being hit. Welsh National Opera has already been informed that its funding from the English arts council which supports the company's widespread touring there, is to be cut by 6.9% next year from £6.76m to £6.29m.

Options

Mr Capaldi acknowledged that the arts landscape in Wales was going to have to change as the impact of the cuts hit all sectors of Welsh society.

Mr Capaldi said the ACW administration would not be immune from the cuts.

"As part of the investment process we need to look at ourselves and our own organisation with a similar level of intensity that we have applied to the organisations that we fund."

He added: "I think it is going to be a very tough time for the next few months, but I am optimistic that the interest in and the power of the arts to be able to transform people's lives will convince us that it is the greatest weapon that we have to be able to fight back with."

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