More money for Welsh language, museums, arts and media in draft government budget
The draft budget published today by the Welsh Government includes more money to be spent on the Welsh language, museum, arts and media as part of the Labour’s own programme for government and also the Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru.
The budget includes an additional £4m to be spent in the Welsh-speaking heartlands in west Wales in order to boost economic development that supports the Welsh language and encourage business growth in areas with a high proportion of Welsh speakers.
An extra £8m will also be invested by 2024-25 in the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (Welsh Language National College) and the National Centre for Learning Welsh to
increase the proportion of apprenticeships and further education that are Welsh-medium, and to provide free Welsh language learning for 16-24 year olds.
The Welsh Government will also provide a £45m capital investment up to 2024-25 to increase opportunities for learners to be taught through the medium of Welsh.
An additional £14m up to 2024-25 will also be spent create a new cultural strategy working closely with stakeholders in the arts, culture and heritage sectors. This funding also includes more than £1m “to strengthen Welsh news and close the democratic deficit”.
“Culture, including the Welsh language, arts and museums, the tourism and sport sectors have seen a disproportionate impact from the pandemic,” the budget says.
“We also recognise the positive effect these activities have on our mental health. The ability to exercise our mind and body can create more resilience when faced with difficult physical or mental health, can tackle social isolation, and is an opportunity to confront inequalities and improve access and participation.”
The budget notes that the Welsh Government also remains “committed to tackling inequalities and eradicating discrimination”.
“We have committed over £6m revenue to ensuring the history and culture of our Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities are properly represented by investing further in our cultural sector and museum network,” they say.
The budget also includes £127m to be invested in theatres and museums, including Theatr Clwyd, the establishment of a Football Museum for Wales, a National Contemporary Art Gallery and a Museum for North Wales.
“These developments will significantly improve cultural access across Wales, enable better access to the national collection, help organisations to decarbonise, focus on digital delivery and ensure offers are more reflective of the diverse communities in Wales and more attractive to local, Welsh, UK and international audiences,” the budget says.
£24m capital up to 2024-25 will also be invested in providing equal access to sports.
In her foreword, the finance minister Rebecca Evans MS says that the budget incorporates the Co-operation Agreement entered into with Plaid
“Recognising the need to drive a stronger Wales that also values our rich heritage and culture we are also making £26m of specific revenue investments in our Welsh
language and culture in areas of shared priorities with Plaid Cymru including an additional £4m for Arfor, and an additional £8m to expand the role of the Coleg
Cymraeg Cenedlaethol,” she said.