Welsh Taxpayer funding luxuries of the minorities

December 16, 2010 6:12 PM

It has been announced today that a number of Arts organisations throughout Wales have received a substantial increase to their funding.  This comes on the same day that it has been announced that the two main coast guard stations covering the Irish sea are to close.

It has come to light that a number of organisations, including the National Theatre Wales and Welsh National Opera, have had their annual budget increased by £335,000 and £250,000 respectively. Other organisations, including The Riverfront in Newport, have even doubled their annual budgets!

This news comes only months after projects such as the world renowned Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod were told that they would no longer be part of the ACW (Arts Council of Wales) revenue portfolio due to budget cuts. The ACW receive the bulk of their funds from the Welsh purse, which totaled over £24m this year.

The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) have cut the ACW budget by 4% this year and set a target set that they are to claw back 12% of running costs. But when compared to Arts organisations throughout the rest of the UK, this is nowhere near far enough.

During a BBC Radio Wales interview, a guest sat next to me mentioned on air that he has received an additional £56,000 in funding from the ACW this taking his annual budget over £200,000. This £200,000 was to ensure that an art gallery within Penarth, South Wales was to stay open.

I am not against Heritage. I am not against Art,  but there are more important things that the Welsh budget is there to do. This increase of individual budgets is an attempt to prop up a number of organisations without a viable business plan and who also appear unaccountable, except to the art critics in the Sunday supplements.

It leaves only two questions to be answered,

  • Should we really be funding a sector that many find elitist and inaccessible, when core services are being cut?

  • If WAG or the British government cannot find anything else to invest in, maybe we as taxpayers, could have a reduction in the amounts that we pay?

It has been announced today that a number of Arts organisations throughout Wales have received a substantial increase to their funding.  This comes on the same day that it has been announced that the two main coast guard stations covering the Irish sea are to close.

It has come to light that a number of organisations, including the National Theatre Wales and Welsh National Opera, have had their annual budget increased by £335,000 and £250,000 respectively. Other organisations, including The Riverfront in Newport, have even doubled their annual budgets!

This news comes only months after projects such as the world renowned Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod were told that they would no longer be part of the ACW (Arts Council of Wales) revenue portfolio due to budget cuts. The ACW receive the bulk of their funds from the Welsh purse, which totaled over £24m this year.

The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) have cut the ACW budget by 4% this year and set a target set that they are to claw back 12% of running costs. But when compared to Arts organisations throughout the rest of the UK, this is nowhere near far enough.

During a BBC Radio Wales interview, a guest sat next to me mentioned on air that he has received an additional £56,000 in funding from the ACW this taking his annual budget over £200,000. This £200,000 was to ensure that an art gallery within Penarth, South Wales was to stay open.

I am not against Heritage. I am not against Art,  but there are more important things that the Welsh budget is there to do. This increase of individual budgets is an attempt to prop up a number of organisations without a viable business plan and who also appear unaccountable, except to the art critics in the Sunday supplements.

It leaves only two questions to be answered,

  • Should we really be funding a sector that many find elitist and inaccessible, when core services are being cut?

  • If WAG or the British government cannot find anything else to invest in, maybe we as taxpayers, could have a reduction in the amounts that we pay?

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