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Tamara Harvey: Welsh theatres need three-year funding agreements

Tamara Harvey. Photo: Catherine Ashmore
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Theatr Clwyd artistic director Tamara Harvey has criticised Wales’ one-year arts funding agreements, claiming it prevents companies from planning ahead.

Harvey, who took over the Flintshire-based theatre last year, told the BBC that funding for Welsh arts organisations should come in three-year terms, in line with England.

“If we could ask for anything, it would be for longer term funding. In England, you get a three-year funding agreement, and that does enable you to plan more. And that would be such a gift to the arts organisations in Wales, if that was something that were possible,” she said.

Emphasising how “vital” it is that theatres are able to continue producing work in difficult financial circumstances, Harvey said: “One of the ways we can do that is by knowing at least for three years that we have the funds and means to do so.”

Earlier this year, the Arts Council of Wales’ funding agreements for 2016/17 were announced, following a £1.5 million reduction in its grant from the Welsh government.

The largest cuts fell on national organisations Welsh National Opera and Wales Millennium Centre, with Theatr Clwyd itself receiving 3% cut to its ACW funding, amounting to £54,000.

In response to Harvey’s comments, ACW chief executive Nick Capaldi said the funding body was pushing the Welsh government to introduce three-year funding terms, and it is under consideration by the government.

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