The Arts Council of Wales has announced the outcome of its 2023 Investment Review, making a number of changes to the organisations it will support in the coming years and announcing that multi-year funding for National Theatre Wales has been axed.
Arts Council of Wales has offered 81 creative organisations conditional grants of almost £30m following the results of its 2023 Investment Review process. The Investment Review provides multi-year funding for organisations, allocating a total of £29.6m funding from Welsh Government and the National Lottery.
Key findings from the report include:
- The number of organisations offered multi-year funding by Arts Council of Wales increases from 67 to 81.
- There is a significant increase in the number of new organisations offered funding there are 23 new organisations in 2023, compared with four in the previous Investment Review in 2015. These include Citrus Arts (Hopkinstown), Common Wealth (Cardiff), Elysium Gallery (Swansea), FOCUS Wales (Wrexham), People Speak Up (Llanelli), Taking Flight Theatre (Cardiff), Small World Theatre (Aberteifi), Neuadd Ogwen, (Bethesda), and Urban Circle (Newport).
- The process followed each stage as outlined in the published guidelines and has received a rating of substantial assurance from our auditors.
- The funding we have available is not enough to support every organisation at the level requested. Difficult decisions have been made based on how organisations responded to our six principles – Creativity, Widening Engagement, Welsh Language, Climate Justice, Nurturing Talent, and Transformation.
- More Welsh language led organisations will be funded than previously, including Theatr Soar (Merthyr Tydfil) and Oriel Plas Glyn Y Weddw (Llanbedrog). There is an increase in Welsh language activity across the board.
- This Investment Review will bring a greater range of diversity to the arts in Wales, with funding for more culturally and ethnically diverse led organisations, including Fio and Jukebox (Cardiff), as well as an increased representation on boards of D/deaf and disabled people. However we acknowledge that more is needed to ensure our sector is representative and diverse.
- We are increasing the level of funding for 13 of the organisations that are currently funded as members of Arts Portfolio Wales. These are: Ballet Cymru, Cwmni’r Frân Wen, Dawns i Bawb, Disability Arts Cymru, g39, Hijinx, Jukebox Collective, National Youth Arts Wales, Theatr Bara Caws, Torch Theatre, Tŷ Cerdd, Valleys Kids, and The Welfare Ystradgynlais.
- There is a commitment to a review of English Language Theatre.
- There are organisations that were previously part of the Arts Portfolio Wales that will not be offered multi-year funding from 2024/25 but can continue to apply to our other funds. These organisations are: Eleni, Hafren, Head4Arts, Impelo, Mid Wales Opera, National Theatre Wales, Rubicon Dance, Taliesin Arts Centre and Trac Cymru.
Arts Council of Wales Chief Executive, Dafydd Rhys said: “This Investment Review represents a very positive shift for the arts in Wales, one which will lead to new opportunities for people of all backgrounds to engage with, and enjoy creativity of the highest quality.
“We were very pleased to be able to fund 81 organisations across Wales, although we recognise that we could not fund everybody, or fund all organisations to the level which they would like.
“The decision not to continue funding for some organisations will no doubt be much debated, which is something we welcome – however our Strategic Interventions will respond to any gaps created in relevant sectors as a result of our decisions.
“The Investment Review sits alongside our other Arts Council of Wales programmes including Creative Learning, Arts & Health, Wales Arts International and Night Out and our other funding opportunities, including Creative Steps, our International Opportunities Fund and Create.”
You can read the full Investment Review report here.