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Extra funding committed to protect and preserve Wales’ national treasures

10 Jul 2024 5 minute read
Picture by the Welsh Government

The Welsh Government has confirmed it is making additional funding available to ensure Wales’ cultural institutions are protected and preserved.

£3.2 million has been earmarked for the current financial year for repairs to be carried out to both the National Museum Cardiff and National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and Social Justice, Lesley Griffiths, has said the Welsh Government has listened to concerns regarding the intense financial pressures on all cultural institutions – at a national and local level – and acted to mitigate these difficulties.

In addition, the Cabinet Secretary has confirmed £500,000 to help improve storage facilities and protect important collections at local and independent museums and archives which tell the stories of communities across Wales.

Funding will also continue to be invested in the redevelopment of Amgueddfa Cymru’s Llanberis site, which will create opportunities for greater and improved access in North Wales to the national collection.

Dispersed model

The dispersed model for a National Contemporary Art Gallery will provide increased access to the national collection and bring contemporary art closer to communities through a network of nine galleries already established across Wales. More of Wales’ collections will also be provided through the Celf ar y Cyd website.

It has also been confirmed that with the immediate priority being protecting and preserving cultural institutions and their collections, investment in an anchor gallery for the National Contemporary Art Gallery for Wales and Museum of North Wales will not be possible at this time.

The Welsh Government continues to invest in the significant redevelopment of Theatr Clwyd in Flintshire and The Football Museum for Wales in Wrexham.

The Welsh Government is also working closely with Amgueddfa Cymru and the National Library of Wales to develop plans to address the wider maintenance issues at the National Museum in Cardiff and the Library’s building in Aberystwyth over the coming years.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and Social Justice, Lesley Griffiths said: “Our museums, archives and galleries are vital parts of cultural life in Wales and today’s announcement will help protect them and their collections for the benefit of people across Wales, now and in the future.

“We have had to make some difficult decisions and choices, but we have listened and the priority at this time must be helping to safeguard our cultural institutions be they large or small, national or local.

“The dispersed model of the National Contemporary Art Gallery will bring collections closer to communities, emphasising our commitment to equity of access. We will continue to develop our digital online platform – Celf ar y Cyd – so more people across Wales and the world can enjoy our national collection of art.

“Funding will also ensure local museums and archives are supported, recognising the extremely important role they play in telling the stories of their areas.

“We have been honest about the financial challenges we’re facing, however, this does not stop us being ambitious for the sector. The investment we’re continuing to make and our consultation on draft priorities for culture over the next six years show the importance this Welsh Government places on culture.

“We must continue to work together to safeguard our cultural institutions.”

‘Caring for collections’

Jane Henderson, President of the Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales said: “We’re delighted that Welsh Government is acknowledging the importance of caring for collections held in local museums and archives. These objects and collections combine to tell the histories of people and their communities which together tell a powerful story of a nation built from many parts.”

Amgueddfa Cymru Chief Executive, Jane Richardson said: “We are so pleased that Welsh Government are providing additional funding to start critical maintenance work at National Museum Cardiff. The Museum is over 100 years old and was specifically built to house and showcase Wales’ very special national collection.

“We are delighted that this extra investment will enable us to begin the work to ensure this collection remains accessible to the people of Wales as well as visitors from the rest of the UK and across the world.”

National Library of Wales Chief Executive, Rhodri Llwyd Morgan, said: “We very much welcome this new investment by the Welsh Government which will go towards essential renovations to the National Library building in Aberystwyth.

“The national collection that is kept here is a treasure that belongs to the nation and the funding will enable works that are much needed. Completing these works will mean that the collections are safe in the long-term and will ensure access to them for future generations.”

Plaid Cymru spokesperson for Culture, Heledd Fychan MS said: “Whilst welcoming today’s announcement of additional capital funding to carry out urgent repairs at National Museum Cardiff, the National Library of Wales and local and independent museums and archives, this must be a first-step to ensuring our cultural institutions are properly resourced to care for our national collections. After all, this is not new money, but rather money repurposed from elsewhere within the budget meaning that other developments will no longer go ahead.

“This announcement does not change the fact that the sector remains in a precarious situation, lacking the funds to secure jobs and expertise that are equally needed within these sectors.

“Plaid Cymru will continue to press on the Labour Welsh Government to properly invest in the culture, heritage and arts sectors and ensure equal access for future generations.”

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4 days ago

Edrych ymlaen at weld mwy o gelf a chelfyddid pwysig Cymru ar ddangos yn y Gogledd, hen bryd!

Last edited 4 days ago by DotiauSyml
Mandi A
Mandi A
4 days ago

Just in time, shame it doesn’t read £32m but £3.2m is a start

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
4 days ago

I hope that includes our cemeteries, as several of them are in a very poor state of upkeep.

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