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Welsh Govt announces funding boost for museums and libraries

05 May 2023 3 minute read
Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden. Inset image: Welsh Government

Some of Wales’ museums and libraries are set to be transformed with a funding boost of £1.7m, the Welsh Government has announced.

The Cultural Transformation Capital Programme aims to enable public libraries, local museums and archive services to transform services and modernise their facilities.

Since 2017, when the programme was extended to include museums and archives with over £9m has been provided to organisations across Wales.

The investment has been used tp modernise facilities, create more sustainable models of delivery, enable joint service working and improve the offer to people and communities.

The programme focuses on improving access, partnership working, decarbonisation, and the development of more sustainable services.

The investment over the next two years will be shared between museums and libraries in Wales, including:

£268,682 for the remodelling of Ystradgynlais Library in Powys.
£300,00 Swansea Library Service for relocation the Central library as part of city centre regeneration plans.
£147,000 for a bibliotherapy project at Cardiff Hubs & Libraries, which will help patients better manage their own health and wellbeing through reading.
£135,000 for new interactive history digital exhibition displays at The Rhondda Heritage Park, Rhondda Cynon Taf.
£149,997 for the development of Narberth Library, Pembrokeshire.
£120,534 to improve the efficiency of Narberth Museum, Pembrokeshire.
£110,000 for improving energy efficiency at Abergavenny Castle, Monmouthshire.

Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden said: “I’m delighted to announce the successful projects which will receive this funding under the Welsh Government’s Cultural Transformation Capital Programme, which allows us to invest significantly in our local cultural sectors.

“This round of funding is supporting a wide variety of initiatives, from transforming spaces to be better used by their communities, enabling greater access and participation, whilst also supporting the health and well-being of users, to preserving collections for future generations.

“The support provided by our local museums, archives and libraries is essential to helping communities in Wales thrive, now more than ever. The Welsh Government is committed to continuing this much needed support for organisations at the heart of Welsh Culture, continuing to ensure that everyone in Wales has access to arts and cultural activities.”

Digital access

The funding award to support the Narberth Library Development project is a contribution to a significant regeneration programme to transform the Narberth Old School, a building that has been empty for over a decade, into a multiuse facility.

The library will be 58% larger than the current facility, in a more visible, central, and accessible town centre location.

Funding to Ystradgynlais Library will support remodelling of the library with greater emphasis on supported digital access from a trusted community location, reducing environmental impacts of the building and preventing unnecessary travel.

The partnership project with Cardiff Hubs/Libraries, Cardiff & Vale University Health Board and Public Health Wales will widen access to therapeutic resources and library services to help to patients better manage their own health and wellbeing.

The project will utilise an existing Welsh Government scheme – Reading Well Books on Prescription for patients, visitors and staff within the health setting through the use of book vending machines.

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething has approved £146,000 funding for Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Art Gallery, in Merthyr Tydfil.

This will fund an off-site storage space, specifically equipped to allow for the relocation of the museum’s art store and providing better public access to the collection.

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