Welsh arts get £15.4m Omicron boost

The Welsh government is creating a 15.4m emergency fund to support the arts and culture through the Omicron Covid emergency, deputy culture minister Dawn Bowden announced today.

The money is specifically to support organisations hit by Wales’s latest alert level 2 measures which came into force on Boxing Day and call for no more than six people meeting in pubs, cafes, restaurants and other regulated premises, controlled entry and table service at licensed premises, a maximum of 30 people attending indoor activities and 50 people outdoors, and face coverings must be worn in indoor public places except when seated to eat or drink.

“We are fully aware that these impacted sectors continue to face new pressures, which is why we’ve been working with the Arts Council to make this additional funding available as soon as possible” Bowden (pictured) said. “The innovation and resilience which has been demonstrated by the people and organisations which make these sectors so vibrant has been remarkable – we want to ensure that the sector continues to play a part in our recovery from the pandemic and in bringing people together once more.

“The culture sector also plays an important part in our economy and this is yet another step in the support that we are offering to businesses. Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve provided over £2.6bn of support to businesses throughout Wales to help them manage their way through difficult circumstances.”

Music venues, heritage sites, event venues and organisers, independent local museums, community and independent libraries, galleries and independent cinemas that had already been supported by the Welsh government’s £93m culture recovery fund will be contacted by letter during the week commencing 17 January to set out how they can get support. Details are also to be released by then about help for creative freelances.

Chairman of the Arts Council of Wales Phil George said: “Working alongside colleagues in the Welsh government we are determined to ensure that arts and cultural organisations who play a key role in the wellbeing of communities across Wales will be able to bring solace, delight and vision as we struggle with the pandemic and as we recover and rebuild. The need for this support has obviously become even more urgent as a result of the impact of the Omicron variant.”

More information is available at www.Businesswales.gov.wales.

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