Arts Council of Wales unveils £27.5m spending

Alan Oke (The Major) in Figaro Gets A Divorce Image copyright Richard Hubert Smith/WNO
Image caption Funding news for the WNO: The company is still the largest beneficiary but its budget will fall by nearly £159,000

Arts companies face cuts of up to 3.5% to the public money they will receive from April, the Arts Council of Wales (ACW) has announced.

Larger companies like Welsh National Opera (WNO) and National Theatre Wales (NTW) will see budgets fall.

Altogether, 67 organisations will share a funding pot of £27.5m.

ACW chairman Prof Dai Smith said it had been a "challenging" process but a third of organisations - mostly smaller arts groups - will not see any cut.

Opera, theatre and dance companies, as well as educational groups and arts centres, will be finding out about their proposed budgets for 2016/17.

The funding announcement is the final stage of ACW's investment review, the first in five years.

It has now decided how many companies should continue to receive regular core funding, and how much they deserve.


ACW has created a new Arts Portfolio Wales which sees 67 companies receiving funding for their core work, while two organisations receive lottery funding for specific projects and events.

Companies which receive less than £150,000 have been protected from any cuts.

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Media captionWNO chairman Geraint Talfan Davies said he was worried about the potential for more cuts in the longer term

The largest beneficiary of Arts Council funding, WNO, will see its funding fall from £4,539,538 in 2015/16 to £4,380,654 in 2016/17.

But the budgets of two organisations which receive annual grants have been increased. Ballet Cymru's funding rises from £193,842 to £243,842 while Sinfonia Cymru's budget almost doubles from £111,459 during the current financial year to £210,459 from April.

As well as distributing annual grants to fund the core work of Welsh arts companies, called revenue funding, ACW also distributes lottery funding for specific projects.

Prof Smith said the ACW was determined to be "bold, brave and far-reaching".

"In spite of a further £1.5m cut in Welsh government funding, we have been able to sustain a nationwide network of high-performing organisations.

"We have also protected them against the full impact of the cuts."

Image caption Ystradgynlais Miners' Welfare and Community Hall gets its first ACW funding - £40,202

Of the companies that will receive funding from April, four companies will be members of the portfolio for the first time:

  • Arts Alive: an educational arts charity
  • Blackwood Miners' Institute: community arts centre in Caerphilly county
  • Jukebox Collective: street dance company based in Cardiff
  • Ystradgynlais Miners' Welfare and Community Hall: arts and community centre in Powys

During the investment review a total of 94 companies applied for more than £32m from ACW. As well as four new companies, five others were told they would not continue to be funded from April 2016:

  • Earthfall: Cardiff-based dance and theatre company
  • Dawns Tan/Tan Dance: a dance organisations based in Neath Port Talbot
  • Theatr Ffynnon: theatre for people with disabilities in Cwmbran
  • Touch Trust: arts company for people with learning disabilities and those affected by autistic and spectrum disroder (ASD)
  • SWICA Carnival: organises carnivals in Cardiff and across the country

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