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Friday 07 August 2020

Welsh Government must revise funding to save our museums

The Senedd’s Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee has now published its report on the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on heritage, museums and archives in Wales.
 
The report refers to evidence submitted by FDA Wales and includes several recommendations echoing the union’s call for increased investment in the National Museum and National Library.
 
These include:
 
Recommendation 1. The Welsh Government should commit to spending all of the £59 million additional funding from the UK Government on supporting individuals and organisations in the cultural, arts and heritage sector.
 
Recommendation 2. The Welsh Government should urge the UK Government to continue the Job Retention Scheme beyond October 2020 for heritage organisations, museums and archives not able to fully reopen this year.
 
Recommendation 3. The Welsh Government should ensure that museums, archives and heritage sites are adequately resourced, in terms of expertise and infrastructure, to provide digital access to, and online engagement with, their collections.
 
Recommendation 5. The Welsh Government should revise the way in which funding is decided for museums, libraries and heritage sites to take into account increased digital delivery and compensate for reduced commercial income.
 
Responding to the report, Gareth Hills, FDA National Officer for Wales, said:
 
“The Committee’s report is welcomed, in particular the recommendation that the Welsh Government should revise the way in which funding is decided for museums, libraries and heritage sites to take into account increased digital delivery and compensate for reduced commercial income.
 
“The ability of these institutions to generate commercial income is unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels for a number of years – direct grant-in-aid funding must be urgently increased to protect Wales’ rich cultural heritage.
 
“The report points to a growing consensus around supporting and protecting the nation’s cultural institutions, something that the Welsh Government must now recognise and act upon.”
Notes for editors
1. The FDA is the union for senior managers and professionals in public service, representing more than 18,000 members at grades HEO and above. Membership includes senior civil servants, government policy advisors, prosecutors, diplomats, tax professionals, economists, solicitors and other professionals working across the Government and the NHS.
2. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".
3. FDA Wales can be found on Twitter @FDA_Wales and at www.fda.org.uk. General Secretary Dave Penman tweets as @FDAGenSec.
4. For more information contact:
FDA Communications Officer Tommy Newell on 07738 729 145 or tommy@fda.org.uk
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