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Welsh arts council faces 3% funding cut

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The Arts Council for Wales will have its revenue funding cut by more than 3% next year as part of the Welsh Government’s draft budget for 2014/15.

Spending will be reduced to £32.7 million for next year and plans have also been revealed for further cuts to take effect in 2015/16, bringing revenue funding to around £32.5 million.

Total funding going to ACW – including capital money – will be reduced from this year’s £34.1 million to £33.1 million in 2014/15.

ACW chair Dai Smith said the organisation was “very pleased” with the outcome, considering the current economic situation.

He said: “Funding reductions are never welcome. But under the circumstances, we are very pleased with this outcome and see it as an important signal of the Welsh Government’s commitment to the arts and their role in supporting wider Government policy.

“We thank the Welsh Government for this important vote of confidence in the creative value and potential of Wales’ artists and arts organisations. We look forward to demonstrating, through our partnerships across the arts in Wales, that this confidence is justified.”

The Welsh Government’s finance minster Jane Hutt said that it had faced a £1.7 billion cut by the UK government since 2010.

She said: “ We cannot shield all services from the effect of the UK Government cuts and the implications of prioritising spend. All of the decisions that we face are difficult. There are no easy answers.

“In this budget we have been clear about our priorities for Wales and those areas that we believe need protecting – health, schools and universal benefits. We have also been clear that our focus will continue to rest on creating growth and jobs for the Welsh economy.”

The budget for 2014/15 is expected to be finalised by the end of the year. The 2015/16 draft budget will be published in full in October 2014.

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