“Difficult Decisions” for Welsh Government as it Allocates £3.7m to Safeguard Museums and Archives


Additional funding has been allocated to the National Museum Cardiff and National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth for repairs.

The Welsh Government has earmarked £3.2 million this financial year for the repairs, which it says is to ensure Wales’ cultural institutions are protected and preserved.

A further £500,000 is set to help improve storage facilities and protect collections at local and independent museums and archives which tell the stories of communities across Wales.

The Welsh Government said the “immediate priority” of protecting and preserving cultural institutions and their collections meant that investing in an anchor gallery for the National Contemporary Art Gallery for Wales and Museum of North Wales will not be possible at this time.

It said a “dispersed model” for a National Contemporary Art Gallery will provide increased access to the national collection and bring contemporary art closer to communities through a network of nine galleries already established across Wales. More of Wales’ collections will also be provided through the Celf ar y Cyd website.
Funding will also continue to be invested in the redevelopment of Amgueddfa Cymru’s Llanberis site, which the Welsh Government said will create opportunities for greater and improved access in North Wales to the national collection.

The Welsh Government continues to invest in the significant redevelopment of Theatr Clwyd in Flintshire and The Football Museum for Wales in Wrexham.

The Welsh Government is also working closely with Amgueddfa Cymru and the National Library of Wales to develop plans to address the wider maintenance issues at the National Museum in Cardiff and the Library’s building in Aberystwyth over the coming years.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and Social Justice, Lesley Griffiths said:

“Our museums, archives and galleries are vital parts of cultural life in Wales and this announcement will help protect them and their collections for the benefit of people across Wales, now and in the future.

“We have had to make some difficult decisions and choices, but we have listened and the priority at this time must be helping to safeguard our cultural institutions be they large or small, national or local.

“The dispersed model of the National Contemporary Art Gallery will bring collections closer to communities, emphasising our commitment to equity of access. We will continue to develop our digital online platform – Celf ar y Cyd – so more people across Wales and the world can enjoy our national collection of art.

“Funding will also ensure local museums and archives are supported, recognising the extremely important role they play in telling the stories of their areas.

“We have been honest about the financial challenges we’re facing. However, this does not stop us being ambitious for the sector. The investment we’re continuing to make and our consultation on draft priorities for culture over the next six years show the importance this Welsh Government places on culture.

“We must continue to work together to safeguard our cultural institutions.”

Jane Henderson, President of the Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales said:

“We’re delighted that Welsh Government is acknowledging the importance of caring for collections held in local museums and archives. These objects and collections combine to tell the histories of people and their communities which together tell a powerful story of a nation built from many parts.”

Amgueddfa Cymru Chief Executive Jane Richardson said:

“We are so pleased that Welsh Government are providing additional funding to start critical maintenance work at National Museum Cardiff. The Museum is more than 100 years old and was specifically built to house and showcase Wales’ very special national collection.

“We are delighted that this extra investment will enable us to begin the work to ensure this collection remains accessible to the people of Wales as well as visitors from the rest of the UK and across the world.”

National Library of Wales Chief Executive Rhodri Llwyd Morgan said:

“We very much welcome this new investment by the Welsh Government which will go towards essential renovations to the National Library building in Aberystwyth.

“The national collection that is kept here is a treasure that belongs to the nation and the funding will enable works that are much needed.  Completing these works will mean that the collections are safe in the long-term and will ensure access to them for future generations.”

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