Desktop
Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
 
 
You are in :

​​​

Wales “cannot risk losing a generation of artists”

05/06/2020

​Wales risks losing an entire generation of artists and undoing years of positive work and investment if the Welsh Government doesn't commit to supporting the arts and culture sector through Coronavirus and beyond.

Artist working in studio

The Senedd's Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee has been told by the Arts Council of Wales it could be up to a year before theatres and concert venues are able to open fully for business.

A £7.5 million resilience fund has been set up to support organisations and the Arts Council of Wales has already received hundreds of applications totalling more than £4 million. The fund is only set to last until September.

The organisation revealed that the arts organisations it funds are losing around £1.4 million per week as a result of venues shut down and performances cancelled. The Wales Millennium Centre alone could lose £20 million  this financial year.

Many artists and organisations also do not qualify for the financial support provided by the UK Government.

Nick Capaldi, Chief Executive for Arts Council of Wales, told committee members many artists are slipping through the cracks:

"These are the young talent that our future depends on, who are being hobbled at the first opportunity of getting a foot on the rung of the ladder. So, we're looking particularly carefully at these groups of people, who are going to slip through the net in what the UK Government's support schemes are able to offer."

The Committee wants the Welsh Government to lobby the UK Government to extend and add flexibility to its self-employed income support, and job retention schemes.

It also wants to see the start of conversations between the Welsh Government and arts organisations to set a long-term policy direction which is sustainable, inclusive and accessible.



 

How has coronavirus impacted the arts, culture and creative industries in Wales?

Share your views >

 


Dancer in a studio

Acting Chair of the Committee, Helen Mary Jones MS, said:

"The arts sector has been devastated by the economic impact of Coronavirus with many organisations and people losing their income overnight.

"Art is a shared experience between artists, performers and audiences, but the Committee has been told it could be as long as a year before theatres, concert halls and other arts venues are able to open as normal.

"We cannot risk losing a generation of artists or abandoning all of the positive work and investment which has gone into making Wales a world-leader in arts and culture.

"We are urging the Welsh Government to take swift action to support this important part of Welsh life."

The Committee makes three recommendations in its report:

  1. The Welsh Government should lobby the UK Government to urge that:
  • The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme continues beyond May 2020 and the Job Retention Scheme continues beyond October 2020;
  • The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme is revised to ensure no freelance workers fall through the gaps in eligibility for the scheme.
  1. The Welsh Government should establish an events and entertainment working group to:
  • liaise with the UK Government's Cultural Renewal Task force;
  • draw up guidance on reopening for live venues, performers and related businesses to be published by 1 August 2020; and
  • recognise that our major arts organisations may not return to profitability for many years and be prepared to extend the necessary public funding to ensure their survival.
  1. In order to renew and sustain the sector the Welsh Government should begin conversations with representatives from the arts sector to set a long-term policy direction which is sustainable, inclusive and accessible.

The findings will now be considered by the Welsh Government.

The Culture, Welsh Language and Communication Committee is continuing to look at the impact of Covid-19 in areas within its remit.

An open call for evidence is still available for people to tell Members their views, experiences and ideas. More details can be found on the committee's web pages and social media channels.

The next report from the Committee will look at the impact on sport in Wales and will be published later this month.

 


 

Have your say

How has coronavirus impacted the arts, culture and creative industries in Wales?

Share your views >

 


 

Partners & Help