Traditionally, The Arts Council has looked at how it shares funding to key organisations every five years, in a process called ‘The Investment Review.’ The last Review took place in 2015 when a Portfolio of 67 companies were chosen to receive a share of £28.5 million. “Arts Portfolio Wales” includes internationally significant organisations such as Wales Millennium Centre, major local centres such as Aberystwyth Arts Centre and Ruthin Craft Centre and more community-based organisations such as Valleys Kids and Head4 Arts.
A Review was planned for 2020 but was postponed by the pandemic. The Arts Council has now restarted the Investment Review and is consulting on a much-changed process that will open for applications in January 2023.
A proposed new model would see a simplified application process and a move away from funding a ‘portfolio’ of companies towards a mix of multi-year revenue and project funding agreements. Instead of the traditional five-year funding arrangement, three-year funding is proposed, with the option of an additional three years based on performance.
This new funding model would sit alongside Art Council of Wales’s other programmes that are funded by players of The National Lottery.
Phil George, Chair, Arts Council of Wales said:
“A lot has changed since our last Investment Review in 2015. I’m incredibly proud of the resilience that individuals and organisations have shown over the past few years in the way that they have responded to huge changes caused by financial pressures and a health pandemic. Colleagues in the arts have and are continuing to use their creativity, to adapt, to support the people and communities of Wales, and to be there for each other.
“But the pandemic also brought into sharp focus challenging societal factors and inequality. Those whose lives are blighted by poverty and economic disadvantage were more harshly affected by Covid-19. Black Lives Matter and the movement to amplify the voices of D/deaf, neurodivergent and disabled creative practitioners and audiences in the WeShallNotBeRemoved campaign, have provided further clear and compelling challenges to rethink and reset.
“This Investment Review is an opportunity for Arts Council of Wales and the arts sector to do just that. It’s time for us to challenge ourselves and others to come up with some real answers on how to address some of the inequalities in access to the arts in our society. We can and must produce some long-term plans to create a wide-reaching, resilient and vibrant arts sector. It’s a chance to demonstrate that we can enable as many people as possible, and from diverse communities, to experience, to create and to enjoy the arts in Wales.”
The Investment Review starts with a consultation phase and the Arts Council of Wales are seeking as many views as possible on the new proposals. Between 18 July and 10 October 2022, eight consultation sessions will be held on Zoom and there will also be opportunities to respond in an online survey and email.
More information about the Investment Review and the consultation documents can be found here: https://arts.wales/investment-review