Wales politics

Business funding warning to Arts Council of Wales by AMs

Only Boys Aloud Image copyright Only Boys Aloud
Image caption Junior choir Only Boys Aloud has been financially supported by a building society

The Arts Council of Wales (ACW) has been challenged over funding changes amid claims they threaten a body which seeks business support for arts.

Arts and Business Cymru now has to bid for contracts, having previously been directly funded by Welsh Government.

Labour AM Lee Waters accused the council of a "rather bureaucratic" response and "obstinacy".

ACW chief executive Nick Capaldi said a procurement process would secure "best value for public funding".

Until April 2016, Arts and Business Cymru had received £70,000 a year in core funding.

Mr Waters challenged Mr Capaldi over the change, suggesting it threatened the organisation's future.

"There is a real danger, is there not, of you being stubborn about this and a skill set that doesn't exist easily elsewhere disappearing," he said.

UKIP AM Neil Hamilton asked: "If the model isn't broken why try to mend it?"

Mr Capaldi said Arts and Business Cymru "do a lot of good work" but insisted it was appropriate to tender for the services.

"We do need to be able to reassure the Welsh taxpayers that we are getting the best value for the public pound, " he said.

Despite an increase in Welsh Government funding for next year, he said the Arts Council of Wales itself was going through a cost-cutting process which would result in a 25% cut in its staff numbers.

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