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Senedd petition calls for increase in funding for Wales’ cultural institutions

04 Mar 2024 4 minute read
St Fagans National History Museum – a site run by Museum Wales

A Senedd petition has launched, calling for an increase in funding for Wales’ cultural institutions in the face of controversial widespread cuts.

The petition, titled ‘Increase, don’t cut, funding for the National Library, Amgueddfa Cymru and the Royal Commission’ was launched by Susan Jane Jones Davies is currently one of the Senedd’s most popular petitions, having received over 5,000 signatures.

The petition calls upon the Welsh Government to increase spending on institutions that safeguard the heritage and history of Wales – the National Library of Wales, Amgueddfa Cymru and the Royal Commission – ‘instead of cutting funding by between 10.5 per cent and 22.3 per cent’.

Pressure

Nation Cymru reported previously that Wales’ cultural treasures are under immense pressure as a result of austerity cuts imposed by the Welsh Government because of a shortfall in its expected funding from Westminster.

Job losses are on the way at the the Royal Commission, the National Library of Wales and Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales, while the biggest budget cut of all is facing Cadw, the Welsh Government body responsible for safeguarding historic places in Wales, with a reduction of more than 20%.

The Welsh Government announced a series of changes to its funding for 2023/24 back in October 2023, but assurances were given that the Welsh language budget would be fully protected.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith, the Welsh Language campaign group, has argued that cuts to Wales’ vital cultural institutions serve as evidence to the contrary and will have a “disastrous” impact on Wales’ language and culture.

A spokesperson for Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales, said: “The Welsh Government announced its 2024-2025 draft budget on December 19, presenting Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales with a financial cut of 10.5%. This is part of a programme of extensive cuts across all Welsh Government portfolios to address the significant shortfall in the Welsh Government budget.”

“Largest funding cut in museum’s history”

“This represents the largest funding cut in the museum’s history and will have a sizeable impact on Amgueddfa Cymru’s day-to-day operations. To ensure that the organisation can continue to operate within the revised budgets, Amgueddfa Cymru is having to consider different cost-saving options including changing operating arrangements, closing services, and potential job losses.

“This is an unsettling period for Amgueddfa Cymru, and the first priority is to provide care and support to our staff and volunteers over the coming weeks and months. Consultations with trade union colleagues will also be taking place throughout the process.

Amgueddfa Cymru chief executive Jane Richardson said: “We shouldn’t underestimate the long-lasting effect these cuts will have on Amgueddfa Cymru and the wider culture sector in Wales.

“We are already working within an extremely challenging financial environment post-Covid as we try to manage the ongoing risks to protecting, preserving, and promoting the national collection.”

Petition

In her petition, Susan writes: “These institutions protect the historical and cultural legacy of our nation, by collecting and preserving it, and then showcasing it to everyone who lives in Wales. They also provide the world with a window to our unique history.

“Bearing in mind that every £1 invested in the sector leads to £5 worth of economic growth, the 0.02 per cent saving made in the national budget makes little sense.

“Amid severe cuts to school budgets, and with Welsh society facing challenges in the context of poverty and failings in the provision of health and care services, holding on to the institutions that sustain and grow our country and our communities, thereby allowing future generations to build on the solid foundations of past successes, is as important as ever.”

The Senedd petition runs until 19 August 2024 and can be found here.


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

No room for Welsh culture on Desolation Bay, the Year of the ‘Indian Summer’…

A year of taxpayer funded trips East of Suez for our closet Imperialists in the Senedd…

Concerned
Concerned
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

My wife is losing her job at Amgueddfa Cymru, one of many losing jobs. When i hear proposals for more MS members it makes me angry

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