Arts & Culture

National Theatre Wales loses Arts Council funding

NTW’s Circle of Fifth production

Featured image credit: National Theatre Wales

National Theatre Wales said it is “deeply shocked” after being left out of the Arts Council of Wales’ (ACW) latest funding round.

The Cardiff-based theatre company has been awarded more than £8.5m by the arts body over the last nine years. However, it was not one of the 81 creative organisations who will share £29.6m following the ACW’s latest investment review process.

The Arts Council decision means the theatre will lose funding from April 2024. It was awarded £1.6m by the ACW most recently in January 2020. Theatr Clwyd and Welsh National Opera will receive £1.8m and £4.1m annually, respectively.

NTW officials said they will “rethink our plans” as they look ahead to the Circle of Fifths tour across Wales this autumn. The theatre said it has connected with 331,000 live audience members since it was founded 12 years ago.

“National Theatre Wales is deeply shocked to receive news from Arts Council Wales that we have not been offered ongoing revenue funding from April 2024,” the theatre said in a statement.

“We are aware that we are not alone; many publicly-funded charities like ours and public sector bodies are facing funding cuts, both in Wales and UK-wide. We will work with partners and funders to develop a picture of what is possible for our charity going forwards.”

Positive shift

ACW noted a record number of applications was received, in what it described as a “highly competitive process”.

Organisations were asked to respond to the ACW’s six principles, which include Creativity, Widening Engagement, Welsh Language, Climate Justice, Nurturing Talent, and Transformation. It added that more Welsh language-led organisations will be offered funding than in previous rounds.

ACW also announced it will fund a series of strategic interventions to provide additional support to areas or artforms which are under-served.

ACW chief executive Dafydd Rhys said: “The decision not to continue funding for some organisations will no doubt be much debated, which is something we welcome – however our Strategic Interventions will respond to any gaps created in relevant sectors as a result of our decisions.

“This investment review represents a very positive shift for the arts in Wales, one which will lead to new opportunities for people of all backgrounds to engage with, and enjoy creativity of the highest quality.”