Wales

Cuts for Sport Wales and National Museum Wales

Inside the National Museum Wales, Cardiff
Image caption National Museum Wales has seven sites, including the main gallery and museum in Cathays Park, Cardiff

Sports groups and the National Museum Wales are braced for tough times ahead after the assembly government announced cuts to their budgets.

Sport Wales, which funds athletes and grassroots teams, will see its total government funding cut by 6% over three years.

Funding for the museum will shrink by £1.36m next year, £1.85m and £1.86m in the following two years.

Both organisations pledged to deliver their objectives despite the cuts.

Sport Wales - formerly the Sports Council for Wales - currently receives an annual income of £35m.

Of that, £26m comes from the Welsh Assembly Government with a further £9m from the National Lottery.

The cuts included in the draft budget will see their day-to-day funding (revenue) shrink to £25.4m next year, £24.9m in 2012-13 and £24.8m in 2013-14.

Meanwhile their capital budget will be reduced from £1.1m this year to £345,000 for each of the next three years.

Tough times

The current settlement will still provide Sport Wales with enough funding to cover costs and to continue to operate its two national centres.

Prof Laura McAllister, chair of Sport Wales, said the cuts were not unexpected and would allow the body to think differently about how it delivered on sport.

"Clearly, no sector is immune from the cuts and sport in Wales is no different.

"Times are going to be tough for everyone receiving public funding and we at Sport Wales are ready for some major challenges ahead - for us and our partners.

"The cuts come at a time when we are looking to create a huge step-change to get every child in Wales hooked on sport for life. We will not be reducing our efforts to turn this goal into a reality."

She pledged to continue to champion the impact and benefits of sport to reduce the burden on the health service.

Image caption David Anderson said the National Museum Wales will strive to find other sources of funding

The museum operates seven sites across Wales, including the St Fagans National History Museum in Cardiff, National Waterfront Museum in Swansea and the National Slate Museum in Gwynedd.

Management said they had been preparing for the cut over the last couple of years, including a voluntary redundancy exercise and reducing energy costs.

They would "continue to try and find ways of operating more economically and efficiently."

David Anderson, director general of National Museum Wales said: "Like many other publicly funded institutions we will face an unprecedented period of austerity over the next few years.

"Through this budget, the Welsh Assembly Government has recognised that culture and heritage are vitally important to the people of Wales.

"We have exciting plans for the future and we will be focusing our efforts on ensuring that they will go ahead as planned."

'Re-double efforts'

He said the museum will push ahead with its project to open a National Museum of Art on the first floor of the National Museum's building in Cathays Park in Cardiff and to revamp the existing natural history galleries by July 2011.

Mr Anderson said he remained committed to the museum's project to establish St Fagans as the National History Museum for Wales over the next 10 years.

He added: "While the funding available will curtail our ability to purchase artefacts for all seven national museums, we will, however, re-double our efforts to secure other sources of funding to develop the collections."

"We will continue to prioritise the maintenance of each museum's services for the public through lively programming and exhibitions, despite resources for these being hit hard."

The museum had already taken steps to prepare for an expected decrease in its budget with a voluntary redundancy exercise and a reduction in energy costs.

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