£2.7million for Welsh museums, archives and libraries

Welsh Assembly Government, Directorate for Culture, Welsh Language and Sport,
17 April 2015, Wales

The main focus of the funding will be to support museums, archives and libraries to deliver the recommendations made in Baroness Andrew’s report on culture and poverty, in which she made a compelling case for joint-working across the sector to ensure culture is accessible to all. 


The funding includes £1million to modernise seven public libraries in Fishguard Ebbw Vale, Blaenavon, Porthmadog, Deeside, Cardiff and Powys.

This is part of the Welsh Government’s Community Learning Library Capital Development Programme, which aims to establish libraries as community hubs, where customers can access a range of council services as well as the traditional library amenities. 


The remaining £1.7million will be used to help widen access and encourage the use of Wales’ rich and diverse collections on offer at museums, archives and libraries across the country, including £235,000 for programmes to increase the number of users, particularly those living in Communities First areas.

£255,000 will be used to establish a national Digital Library Service, allowing customers to access a free all-Wales e-books and e-zines service, as well as free audio books and free reference sources.


The Deputy Minister said:


“I am delighted to announce almost £2.7million for our museums, archives and libraries. Tackling poverty is at the heart of our community policy in Wales, which is why I am committed to ensuring this funding will be used to widen access to culture in some of our most deprived areas.


“The funding will go towards a range of projects and will provide a valuable boost, enabling local museums, archives and libraries to develop their services and improve facilities, including widening digital services, making it easier for the public to access these important services.


“I want to see Wales become the most creative nation in Europe and to achieve this it is vital that everyone is able to access the treasures available in our museums, archives and libraries, and be inspired.”


The funding will also support the further roll-out of Every Child a Library Member, deliver an enhanced Sharing Treasures Programme, where local museums work in partnership with larger museums, and matched funding for the National Manuscripts Conservation Trust to continue their work to preserve important cultural items.


Many of the programmes being funded will support the 2016 Year of Adventure initiative, launched by the Deputy Minister to promote Wales as the capital of adventure tourism, with activities, events and attractions across Wales taking part.