The Welsh Government has announced £750,000 of additional funding for the Books Council of Wales to invest in a new digital system to manage the sale, supply and distribution of books.
The Books Council of Wales will also receive additional capital funding of £145,000 during the current financial year.
The Welsh Government said that a healthy publishing industry is an essential part of Wales’ cultural identity and that the support will help support essential services for the publishing industry in both the Welsh and the English languages.
Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Dafydd Elis-Thomas, said that he was “delighted” to support the Books Council of Wales to invest in this vital sector of the Welsh economy.
“This will be a significant boost to the Books Council of Wales but also the whole publishing industry in Wales,” he said.
“Supporting a successful, bilingual publishing industry in Wales not only makes a contribution to our wider economic growth strategy for the creative industries in Wales, it also supports numerous micro-business initiatives mainly based in rural Wales that contribute to their local economies.”
The Books Council distributes grants to publishers and supports a number of print and online publications such as Click on Wales, the Welsh Agenda, Planet, New Welsh Review, Poetry Wales, Nation.Cymru and Wales Arts Review.
Welsh language publications supported include Barn, Cara, Y Cymro, Golwg, Lysh and O’r Pedwar Gwynt.
The Chief Executive of the Books Council of Wales, Helgard Krause said: “We are very grateful to the Welsh Government for supporting our exciting plans to upgrade our IT systems, ensuring we continue to compete with the publishing industry across the UK and beyond.
“Our distribution centre provides an excellent service to publishers and booksellers and will be able to offer an even better service following this system upgrade. By investing now in a series of transformational improvements, we will help publishing and bookselling businesses to grow thereby supporting the growth of Wales’ foundational economy and the creative industries, as well as promoting reading.”