Wales politics

Welsh Books Council funding cut dropped after outcry

Philip Pullman
Image caption Philip Pullman was among the authors who opposed the cuts

Plans to cut grants to the Welsh Books Council have been dropped in the face of an outcry by authors and publishers.

The council had been facing a 10.6% cut - £370,000 - in 2016-17 as part of the Welsh government's draft budget.

Deputy Culture Minister Ken Skates told AMs that Labour ministers had changed their minds after listening "very carefully" to the complainants.

They claimed that public funding was needed to help the Welsh books industry compete with English companies.

Author Philip Pullman, who grew up in Harlech, Gwynedd, told BBC Cymru Fyw he hoped the Welsh government would "think again and realise the depth of their responsibility towards the languages of Wales".

Revealing the change of heart, Mr Skates said on Wednesday: "Of course, austerity requires some very tough decisions that nobody on this side of the Chamber would wish to make.

"However we also listened very carefully to the sector.

"We've listened to authors, to publishers, to members, and I'm pleased to say the reduction for next year will be zero per cent - there will be no cuts to the Books Council."

Plaid Cymru AM Elin Jones said it was "wonderful news".

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites