Wales

Five groups fold after Arts Council of Wales cuts grants

Five arts groups have closed in the year since 32 organisations had funding stopped by the Arts Council of Wales.

BBC Wales has learned that Gwent Theatre, Theatr Powys, Community Dance Wales, Welsh Independent Dance and the Cardiff Bay Arts Trust folded after their last grants ran out.

The Arts Council of Wales (ACW) says difficult decisions had to be made.

A group of AMs is planning to look at how the arts industry has adapted since the changes were adopted a year ago.

The ACW highlights other groups which have benefited from the new funding arrangements, including National Theatre Wales and Ballet Cymru.

In June 2010, it announced it was stopping funding a total of 32 organisations following a spending review amid pressure on public funding.

'Vibrancy'

Among them was Gwent Theatre which stopped receiving ACW cash in April 2011.

It had taken theatre to schools for nearly 40 years, entertaining thousands of children through annual productions.

"We are deeply dissatisfied with the way in which decisions were made, deeply dissatisfied by the rational that was applied," said Gary Meredith, former artistic director at Gwent Theatre.

With less money to spend, the ACW decided to offer more funding to fewer groups.

ACW chief executive Nick Capaldi said: "We never like to see arts organisations closing or reducing their activities.

"But we as an arts council are responsible for the health, the vibrancy of the arts overall in Wales and those are the tough decision we have to take."

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