Arts Council of Wales fueling sustainability in arts organisations

01 October 2004, United Kingdom

Nine arts companies from across Wales have been announced as the first beneficiaries of a £1m. Arts Council of Wales scheme to promote accountability and longevity in arts organisations. The new Programme for Sustainable Arts Organisations’ will enable some of Wales principle arts companies to make a thorough review of their creative future, their managerial capacity and their financal sitution. Nine organisations from a range of arts disciplines have been selected for the pilot stage of the project. External advisors will work with companies to produce a plan to improve their performance in areas critical to sustainability. ‘From time to time all arts companies need to review their performance in a fundamental way to ensure they are heading in the right direction artistically, managerially and financially,’ said Peter Tyndall Chief Executive of ACW. ‘The programme is designed to ensure that our key arts organisations have the right strengths to continue to make their mark.’ ‘Our research shows that arts organisations can often be reliant on a few long serving staff, or vulnerable to external change or increasingly dependent on public funding. The programme will allow the companies to evaluate their own circumstances from top to bottom, covering such issues as artistic direction, audience development, financial viability, staffing and corporate governance.’ Peter Doran, Artistic Director of programme participant, the Torch Theatre, praised the scheme and its likely effect on his company. ‘The Torch Theatre is in the process of securing its future as a regional arts hub. The Arts Council programme will give the organisation access to skilled advisers who will work closely with us to guide us through this period of change as we define our future needs,’ he said. ‘ Sustainability for the organisation will mean continuing in our areas of success, facilitating our artistic development as well as financial support to give us the time to put new practices in place.’ Minister for Culture Welsh language and Sport, Alun Pugh, also welcomed the initiative. Pugh said the programme will ensure arts organisations in Wales ‘continue to deliver quality art, as well as serving audiences, communities and artists themselves for many years to come.’ The nine organisations will be required to submit Sustainability Audits to the Council between January and April next year. For more information, CLICK HERE.