|Jenny Rathbone AM|
|Lee Waters AM|
|Neil Hamilton AM|
|Siân Gwenllian AM||Cadeirydd dros dro|
|Suzy Davies AM|
|Amy Longford||Rheolwr Treftadaeth, Cyngor Sir Fynwy|
|Heritage Manager, Monmouthshire County Council|
|Clare Williams||Prif Weithredwr Theatr Hijinx|
|Chief Executive, Hijinx Theatre|
|Dr Emma Plunkett-Dillon||Pennaeth Cadwraeth, Yr Ymddiriedolaeth Genedlaethol|
|Head of Conservation, National Trust|
|Eluned Haf||Pennaeth Celfyddydau Rhyngwladol Cymru|
|Head of Wales Arts International|
|Hoodi Ansari||Ymddiriedolwr, G39|
|Jane Lee||Swyddog Polisi, Cymdeithas Llywodraeth Leol Cymru|
|Policy Officer, Welsh Local Government Association|
|Justin Albert||Cyfarwyddwr Cymru, Yr Ymddiriedolaeth Genedlaethol|
|Director for Wales, National Trust|
|Mathew Prichard||Cadeirydd yr Ymddiriedolwyr, Ymddiriedolaeth Colwinston|
|Chair of Trustees, Colwinston Trust|
|Pauline Burt||Prif Weithredwr Ffilm Cymru|
|Chief Executive, Ffilm Cymru|
|Peter Thomas||Uwch Gynllunydd (Cadwraeth a Dylunio), Cyngor Bro Morgannwg|
|Senior Planner (Conservation and Design), Vale of Glamorgan Council|
|Rebecca Gould||Pennaeth y Celfyddydau, British Council Cymru|
|Head of Arts, British Council Wales|
|Stephen Thornton||Rheolwr Materion Cyhoeddus Purfa Penfro, Valero|
|Refinery Public Affairs Manager, Valero|
|Adam Vaughan||Ail Glerc|
|Lowri Harries||Dirprwy Glerc|
|1. Cyflwyniad, Ymddiheuriadau, Dirprwyon a Datgan Buddiannau||1. Introductions, Apologies, Substitutions and Declarations of Interest|
|2. Papurau i'w Nodi||2. Papers to Note|
|3. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 i Benderfynu Gwahardd y Cyhoedd o'r Cyfarfod ar gyfer Eitemau 4, 5 ac 10||3. Motion under Standing Order 17.42 to Resolve to Exclude the Public from the Meeting for Items 4, 5 and 10|
|6. Cyllid Heblaw Cyllid Cyhoeddus ar gyfer y Celfyddydau: Sesiwn Dystiolaeth 6||6. Non-public Funding of the Arts: Evidence Session 6|
|7. Cyllid Heblaw Cyllid Cyhoeddus ar gyfer y Celfyddydau: Sesiwn Dystiolaeth 7||7. Non-public Funding of the Arts: Evidence Session 7|
|8. Yr Amgylchedd Hanesyddol: Sesiwn Dystiolaeth 6||8. Historic Environment: Evidence Session 6|
|9. Yr Amgylchedd Hanesyddol: Sesiwn Dystiolaeth 7||9. Historic Environment: Evidence Session 7|
Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle y mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.
The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.
Bore da a chroeso i'r Pwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu. A oes yna unrhyw ddatgan buddiant? Rwy'n mynd i ddatgan buddiant. Mae gen i gyswllt personol efo person sydd mewn rôl arweiniol yn y celfyddydau. Unrhyw ymddiheuriadau? Mae yna ymddiheuriad wedi dod gan Bethan Jenkins a gan Mick Antoniw. Croeso i aelodau newydd o'r pwyllgor—nid ydynt wedi cyrraedd eto—Jenny Rathbone a Rhianon Passmore, ac mae Mick Antoniw hefyd yn dod atom ni fel aelod newydd. Croeso i chi sydd wedi bod ar y pwyllgor ar hyd yr amser, a diolch am fod yma.
Good morning and welcome to the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee. Are there any declarations of interest? I'm going to declare an interest. I have a personal link with a person in a leading role in the arts sector. Any apologies? We have received apologies from Bethan Jenkins and Mick Antoniw. A warm welcome to our new committee members, who haven't yet arrived, Jenny Rathbone and Rhianon Passmore, and Mick Antoniw is also joining us as a new member of this committee. Welcome to you who've been longstanding members too, and thank you for joining us this morning.
Historic monuments ŷm ni. [Chwerthin.]
We are historic monuments. [Laughter.]
Diolch yn fawr i Dawn Bowden sydd yn gadael y pwyllgor yma. Diolch iddi hi am ei gwaith. Felly, rwy'n gobeithio bod gennym ni sefydlogrwydd: aelodau newydd a rhai sydd wedi bod yma am sbel i gario ymlaen y gwaith.
I'd like to also thank Dawn Bowden who is leaving this committee, but I'd like to thank her for her contribution. So, I hope we will have some stability: we'll have new members and some longstanding members to continue with the work.
Eitem 2, papurau i'w nodi. Mae yna lythyr ataf i fel Cadeirydd gan y Mudiad Meithrin ynglŷn â 'Cymraeg 2050'. A ydych chi'n hapus i nodi hwnnw? Ac wedyn mae yna lythyr gan Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet dros Gyllid yn ailddatgan ffigurau'r gyllideb. Hapus i nodi hwnnw? Unrhyw sylwadau? Iawn.
Item 2, papers to note. We have a letter to me as Chair from Mudiad Meithrin on 'Cymraeg 2050'. Are you content to note that? And then there's a letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Finance restating budget figures. Are you also content to note that? Any comments? No.
bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o'r cyfarfod ar gyfer eitemau 4, 5 a 10 yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42(vi).
that the committee resolves to exclude the public from the meeting for items 4, 5 and 10 in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(vi).
Cynigiwyd y cynnig.
Eitem 3, cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o'r cyfarfod am ryw hanner awr. Felly, nôl mewn sesiwn gyhoeddus mewn rhyw hanner awr. Diolch yn fawr.
Item 3, a motion under Standing Order 17.42 to resolve to exclude the public from the meeting for about half an hour. So, we'll be back in public session in around 30 minutes. Thank you.
Derbyniwyd y cynnig.
Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 09:07.
The public part of the meeting ended at 09:07.
Ailymgynullodd y pwyllgor yn gyhoeddus am 09:37.
The committee reconvened in public at 09:37.
Bore da, a chroeso i'r sesiwn ar gyllid heblaw cyllid cyhoeddus ar gyfer y celfyddydau. Croeso'n arbennig i'r bedair ohonoch chi sydd wedi ymuno â ni y bore 'ma, a chroeso i Jenny Rathbone, sydd wedi cyrraedd y pwyllgor, ac sydd yn aelod newydd o'r pwyllgor. Felly, a gaf gychwyn drwy ofyn i'r bedair ohonoch chi egluro pwy ydych chi, a pham rydych chi yma, mewn ffordd? Gwnawn ni ddechrau efo Rebecca efallai.
Good morning, and welcome to the session on non-public funding for the arts. A particularly welcome to the four of you who have just joined us as witnesses this morning, and I'd also like to welcome Jenny Rathbone, who has arrived and who is a new member of the committee. So, may I start by just asking all four of you just to tell us who you are, and why you're here? If we could start with Rebecca perhaps.
Hello. I'm Rebecca Gould, I'm the head of arts for the British Council in Wales, and I've got a previous career in theatre, so I worked in theatre for 20 years before I came to the British Council. The British Council has an office in Cardiff, for those of you who don't know. There are about 90 people working there because we run the Erasmus scheme from Wales.
Bore da. Eluned Haf ydw i, fi ydy pennaeth Celfyddydau Rhyngwladol Cymru, braich rhyngwladol Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru. Rydym ni'n gweithio mewn partneriaeth efo'r Cyngor Prydeinig, efo Llywodraeth Cymru a phartneriaid ledled y byd. Rydym ni yma i helpu a hyrwyddo artistiaid o Gymru a datblygu partneriaethau ar ran celfyddyd Cymru yn y byd. Rwyf hefyd yn llywio memorandwm dealltwriaeth rhwng Llywodraeth Cymru a Llywodraeth Tsieina mewn diwylliant ar hyn o bryd.
Good morning. I'm Eluned Haf, I'm the head of Wales Arts International. It's the international arm of the Arts Council of Wales. We work with the British Council, the Welsh Government and partners worldwide. We're here to promote artists from Wales and to develop partnerships on behalf of culture in Wales worldwide. I also lead on the memorandum of understanding between the Welsh Government and the Chinese Government on culture at the moment.
Good morning. I'm Pauline Burt, I'm the chief executive of Ffilm Cymru Wales. We are the lottery delegate for the Arts Council of Wales and for the British Film Institute, and therefore develop and implement film policy for both the development of the film sector and the film culture of Wales.
Bore da. Clare Williams ydw i.
Good morning. I'm Clare Williams.
I'm the chief executive of the Hijinx Theatre in Cardiff Bay. We train actors with learning disabilities to work professionally in theatre and the creative industries. We were a Cardiff based company, but now I'm proud to say that we're actually working in Wales.
Diolch. Ffocws yr ymchwiliad yma, wrth gwrs, ydy sut i gael cymorth o fyd busnes ar gyfer y celfyddydau. A fedrwch chi jest yn fyr, y bedair ohonoch chi, ddweud beth yw'ch profiad chi o hynny, a pha fath o gymorth ychwanegol sydd ei angen, yn enwedig efallai gan y Llywodraeth? A oes unrhyw beth a fyddai'n helpu y broses yma o ganfod cymorth ar gyfer y celfyddydau? Pwy sydd yn mynd i ddechrau?
Thank you. The focus of this inquiry is how we can get business support for the arts. Can you just briefly tell us what your experience is of that, and what kind of additional support is needed, particularly perhaps from Government? Is there anything that would assist this process of finding support for the arts? Who'd like to start?
Shall I start? Thank you. The first thing I'd say is that I think, perhaps, the question needs to be slightly rephrased. I think that business support for the arts, or even philanthropic support for the arts, doesn't come without a thriving sector that feels confident enough to pursue that sort of funding.
I think a better question would be to look at the public subsidy for the arts in Wales and to say, 'How can that be used to garner partnerships across the sectors?' So, not just the private sector, but also through partnerships internationally and domestically. How can we make sure that we are using that public subsidy for the arts to make sure that the arts organisations themselves have access to the broadest range of partnerships possible? I think that if we start with the question of, 'How are we going to get more private money into the arts?', we won't get very far.
Byddwn i'n cytuno efo Rebecca ar hynny, ond byddwn i hefyd yn dweud pan rydym yn delio efo'r celfyddydau yn y byd, mae'n really bwysig ein bod ni hefyd yn buddsoddi yn y gorau yn y byd a'n bod yn gweld ein celfyddyd ni yng Nghymru fel y gorau yn y byd a'n bod ni'n mesur beth rydym yn gwneud yma yn ôl beth sydd yn mynd ymlaen mewn llefydd eraill. Mae yna fodelau mewn gwledydd eraill a fyddai'n ddefnyddiol i ni—hynny mewn ffordd o sut rydym yn ariannu'r celfyddydau, ond hefyd sut rydym yn cefnogi ein celfyddydau i fod yn mynd i farchnadoedd newydd a chreu gwaith i allu datblygu swyddi a chyfleoedd, nid yn unig o ran yr ochr artistig, ond o ran economi hefyd.
Rwy'n meddwl bod yna gyfleoedd inni fod yn gweithio mewn partneriaeth ehangach efo asiantaethau gwahanol yma yng Nghymru, ond hefyd edrych dros y border ar beth sydd yn mynd ymlaen o ran Prydain, ond hefyd beth sy'n digwydd mewn llefydd fel yr Alban ac mewn rhanbarthau eraill, yn Ewropeaidd ac yn rhyngwladol. Rwy'n sôn yn fy mhapur am Quebec fel un model diddorol hefyd.
Ond byddwn i hefyd yn dweud ei fod yn bwysig iawn felly ein bod ni'n annog ein cwmnïau i fod yn uchelgeisiol, i feddwl am y byd fel rhan o'u gwaith nhw yma, ac nad oes modd inni fod yn gallu jest dibynnu ar economi Cymru na Phrydain ar ei phen ei hun fel lle i fod yn gwneud ein busnes yn unig. Mae'n rhaid inni fod yn gweithio'n ehangach ac mae hynny felly yn golygu codi diddordeb, profiad ac ysbrydoli ein hartistiaid ni a chael yr hyder—sydd yn beth pwysig iawn, byddwn i'n ei ddweud—i fod yn gweithio'n rhyngwladol.
I would agree with Rebecca on that, but I would also say that when we're dealing with the arts worldwide, it's really important that we also invest in the best worldwide and that we see our arts and culture in Wales as the best and that we measure and benchmark what we do here according to what is happening internationally. There are international models that would be of assistance, in the way that we fund the arts, but also how we support our arts to go out into new markets and to create work so that they can develop jobs and opportunities, not just with regard to the artistic side of things, but economically as well.
I think that there are opportunities for us to work in wider partnerships with different agencies here in Wales, but also to look across the border to see what's happening in the UK as a whole, but also what's happening in places such as Scotland and in other regions, in Europe and internationally. I talk in my paper about Quebec as one interesting model as well.
But I would also say that it's important to encourage our companies to be ambitious, to think about the world as part of their work here, and that we can't just depend on the Welsh economy or the UK economy in itself as a place to operate within. We have to work more widely and that means raising awareness, experience and inspiring our artists to have the confidence—which is a very important thing, I would say—to work internationally.
I would say for film, it's a very particular business and a lot of the generic business support that's available doesn't fit very easily for the film sector. When you go about raising money for a film, each film is effectively like an independent start-up and you're not going to be able to go to a conventional bank, for example, to access finance. But there are already quite extensive existing measures, like the tax wrappers that are available from EIS, for example—the enterprise investment schemes—and producers are extremely good at accessing those. Certainly, our organisation helps new producers be aware of those sorts of supports.
I would say that more could be done in terms of trade support—perhaps having more flexible measures. We tend, and understandably so, where central Government or Welsh Government are looking to be very efficient—. And I think there's a lot of merit in having joined-up presence where multiple parties were able to attend specific places. China's worked fantastically well for Hijinx, for example. Dubai, in the past, have had South by Southwest, in which music, tech and film are all present. That's certainly valuable, but also many independent production companies have their specific slates and projects that they're trying to further, and various territories that they're working on may not be the territories that Government has highlighted.
I said in my paper that about 28 per cent of our productions over the last 11 years have been European co-productions and Europe's not been such a highlight previously. Obviously, I think Brexit is somewhat changing the emphasis there and we need to make sure that we don't lose those opportunities to trade with our European partners.
I think there's also more to be done in making sure that we join up what knowledge we have collectively amongst all of the arts organisations and between Government, the private sector and the arts portfolio. There's a huge amount of knowledge that I think doesn't get shared as much as it should, not only within the organisations, but, for ourselves, we deal with anything up to about 500 production companies who will come to us in a given year, and, of course, they're sharing their experiences. We're trying very hard to make sure that, when people have either successes or failures, the learning from that is fed back to the sector, and I think we could do that more broadly across all sorts of networks that we have in Wales.
To echo what Rebecca was saying, the idea of fusion skills, not to silo what we do—much of what we do in film is also relevant in theatre, in dance, in tech, and we should be mindful of what we can learn from each other across those different areas.
I very recently saw the power that Welsh Government can have when they endorse the arts. Out in the first trip to China, which was part of the trade mission—which, again, was a great Welsh Government incentive to include the arts in trade missions to export arts worldwide—was to see the power of being out there at the same time with Ken Skates, and Ken Skates coming out and, mid negotiation, of him just going and talking to promoters and saying, 'Yes, they're doing a great job; we really endorse it. Welsh Government would love to see this happening'. And, you know, the Chinese market is massively impressed by that, and that really sped things along. So, the more that that can happen, the better.
We have benefited. Hijinx have benefited from Welsh Government, both from the trade missions, but also from the major events unit. Again, I don't know whether the major events unit has much access to other theatre companies. I was able to access them because I worked with the cultural Olympiad and there was a fairly strong relationship there, but I think there's a much broader reach from there.
So, actually, the Welsh Government have been critical, and I will continue knocking on their door and asking for help. Yes, I think there could be some more joined-up thinking with all the agencies involved, but one aspect that I've actually failed at and would really like endorsement again and help from the Welsh Government with is that we could do some really, really important work with health and welfare through the work that we do with changing the perception of disability and helping to improve the way that people communicate with learning disabled people particularly. But, actually, I've found that very, very difficult to get, to get my foot in the door there.
Okay. Thank you very much. I'll bring Neil Hamilton in now, please.
Wales is a very poor country, relatively speaking—the poorest part of the United Kingdom. It's a big challenge to promote individual giving to the arts in Wales; we know that. I'm not sure to what extent this is relevant to your own organisations; other witnesses perhaps have more to say about this. But to what extent do you think it's possible to develop this sector with more professional fundraising?
Well, I'd say, generally, across the arts, there is certainly scope for more training in that area. It's not an area that you particularly see giving in, the film sector. I think that's perhaps not that surprising. Because it's so ubiquitous in our lives, people tend to think, 'Oh, it's everywhere. Why do I need to give to film?' It's not exactly seen as a charitable activity. Having said that, there are areas within our work, around film education—we're working a lot with housing associations at the moment to create opportunities for people who are not in education or training, and I do think there will be areas, not so much for individual giving, but certainly for, potentially, corporate sponsorship down the line, for those sorts of schemes. So, I think there is more work, but there's a huge amount of effort being put in that area, particularly by organisations like the Wales Millennium Centre, the WNO, for example.
So, previous to coming to Wales, I worked both at the national theatre in London and at the Royal Shakespeare Company, who have very large fundraising teams and do very well raising non-public money. However, even there, I saw a massive shift during the time that I worked for those organisations away from just assuming that somebody's going to come along and write you a cheque because they love the arts and they like what you do, to a model of partnership working, to a model of looking, whether we were working with a bank, or whether we were working with a pharmaceutical company, to making sure that we were engaging not just with the senior leadership there, but also with all of the staff, that actually there was an ongoing conversation between members of the Royal Shakespeare Company and members of staff in those organisations. But what I would say is that the thing that attracted those organisations to the RSC or the national theatre was the brand. So, we do have some really big brands in the cultural sector in Wales, and I think we could use those better to attract public money, but it can't be just the assumption that there are going to be some companies who will have some spare money who are going to give it to them. It has to be a long-term partnership, looking at a whole range of things, not just giving money, I think.
Fe wnaf i siarad yn Gymraeg. Cyn i fi ddod i'r swydd yma, roeddwn i'n rhedeg cwmni bach fy hun yn gweithio ar godi arian ar gyfer y sector, ac nid oedd e'n waith hawdd i'w wneud. Mae yna ddibyniaeth ar y sector cyhoeddus, ac ni fydd honno'n mynd i ffwrdd. Ond, wedi dweud hynny, mae yna fodelau gwahanol o ariannu sydd yn bosib edrych arnyn nhw o gwmpas y byd. Ac i ddod at hyn o gyd-destun rhyngwladol, fe fyddwn i'n dweud, pan fyddem ni'n edrych ar weithio yn Tsieina, yn yr Ariannin—yn Ewrop i ddod hefyd—beth ydy'r modelau sydd yn ein caniatáu ni i fedru gweithio mewn ffyrdd gwahanol efo gwledydd lle mae profiad gwahanol? Rydw i'n meddwl bod hynny'n mynd i fod yn rhywbeth a fydd yn ddefnyddiol i ni. Ond un o'r pethau roeddwn i'n ei deimlo, cyn i mi ddod i'r swydd yma, pan oeddwn i'n rhedeg fy nghwmni fy hun oedd: un o'r risgiau mawr sy'n anodd i gwmnïau celfyddydol i'w cymryd ydy'r cam mawr o fod yn bartner mewn rhaglenni rhyngwladol—yn arbennig mewn arian Ewropeaidd. A beth bynnag sy'n dod i ddilyn hynny, bydd lot o'r pwyntiau yn ddilys, byddwn i'n amau. Hynny ydy, os ydych chi'n targedu arian tu allan i'ch gwlad arferol chi, mae'n cymryd risg, mae'n cymryd amser, mae'n cymryd lot o adnoddau i roi hynny at ei gilydd. Pwy sy'n cymryd y risg honno? Ac wedyn: a oes modd i ddatblygu rhyw fath o arian sydd yn cefnogi llwyddiant? Achos mae yna nifer o bartneriaethau sydd, ar hyn o bryd, ddim yn gwybod lle mae eu dyfodol nhw'n dod mewn cyd-destun Creative Europe, er enghraifft, lle nid ydym ni'n siŵr faint o arian rydym ni'n mynd i orfod prynu i mewn, na lle maen nhw'n mynd i gael hynny ohono fo, ac efallai, o ganlyniad, ni fyddant yn cario mlaen efo partneriaethau, mewn rhai achosion, sydd wedi bod yn rhedeg ers 20 mlynedd a mwy.
I will speak in Welsh. Before I started in this post, I ran my own company, which worked on raising funds within the sector, and it wasn't easy. There is a reliance on the public sector, and that isn't going away. But, having said that, there are alternative models of funding that could be looked at around the world. To approach this from an international context, I would say that, when we look at working in China, in Argentina—or in Europe in the future—what are the models that allow us to work in a different way with nations that have different experiences? I think that would be useful. But one of the things that I felt before I came to this post and I ran my own company was that one of the major risks that is difficult for arts companies to take is that major step of becoming a partner in an international programme—particularly with European funding. And whatever follows on from that, then many of those same points would still be valid, I would suspect. Now, if you're targeting funds outwith your own country, it's a risk, it takes time. It takes a great deal of resources to put that together. Who takes that risk, and then is it possible to develop some sort of funding stream that supports success? Because there are a number of partnerships that, at the moment, don't know where their future lies in the context of Creative Europe, for example, where we simply aren't sure how much we're going to have to bring in or where that funding is coming from, and the partnerships may not continue—some of which have been running for 20 years and more.
There's no such thing as a free lunch anymore. The environment has changed so radically, probably in the last eight to 10 years. Sponsorship, now, I think, is a thing really of the past. Now, the private sector, they need to see something very, very tangible for any money that they will invest in the arts. So, whether it's advertising promotional—. Corporate social responsibility now isn't enough of a draw for them. We've had to take a major shift in no longer requesting sponsorship money, but actually offering a service. So, we will go to the corporates, and we will say, 'We think that we can be really useful to you. We can provide. We will send our performers—our learning disabled performers—to you. We can do roleplay and forum theatre to help your staff to improve their communications with people with learning disabilities.' We piloted this a couple of years ago with the NHS, because it was identified that lots of people with disabilities were saying that they were finding communications with doctors and nurses quite difficult, and there was no possibility of them being trained in this. It's worked so well with the NHS that we've now wheeled this out with utility companies, with banks. We're just about to start working with Cardiff Airport and with Hugh James solicitors. So, we can—. And it's a win-win situation, because it means that the corporates can actually get some really, really valuable training, that our actors can receive payment for what they do, which has a massive effect on their self-esteem, and that Hijinx as an organisation, is actually given a facilitation and administration fee that we can then plough back into doing our core activity, which is making theatre. And thanks to the Arts Council of Wales, who have given us resilience money, we're now wheeling this out on a much larger scale.
Well, that sounds very impressive and very interesting. I wouldn't have thought of that in the first place. Jenny, did you want to ask something?
I just wanted to follow up on this, because, given that these companies have shown a genuine interest in improving the way they engage with people with learning difficulties, I'm surprised that Western Power Distribution, Cardiff Airport and other people like that might not then want to sponsor some of your core work because they would obviously have a great understanding of, you know, that that would be a good way of promoting their—
Well, that's exactly the strategy, to build up that relationship, to give them faith, to give them hope. We actually did this with Western Power Distribution. We went out for two years and we trained their call staff in working with vulnerable people generally, and they learnt to love us, and then they made us a small £2,000 donation, a CAF donation, to our community project.
Because I would have thought it would enhance their reputation.
It would, and they want to be associated with the brand, because they share—. They want to be associated with the ethos and the mission.
I'm bringing Lee in here now with a short question on this and then your section of questions.
Fine. Clare, just briefly on that evidence, I can see the pragmatic case for doing that and the fact that you've been able to do that successfully is to your huge credit. There'd be some anxiety within the sector, though, wouldn't there, that moving to a service provision role would shift you away from your core artistic cultural mission. What would you say to people with that anxiety?
Well, we've very, very clearly—. So, I've now created a complete new post, which is a business development post, which actually works beside the artistic product, and we have to keep that balance absolutely right, but we have set very big targets. We're at an advantage in that we have 70 actors across Wales, some of whom will actually not tour internationally in our mainscale work but will be perfectly trained to be able to deliver role play work—so, to go out for the day to Bridgend hospital or to go out and do a training session in Derby. So, we have to keep those two things—. But we've also, to answer that question as well—alongside, as part of the business development post, we actually have created a casting agency. So, we have 70 actors who are on a casting agency site and we promote those actors to the creative industries, so, again, it's win-win because our actors are performing and we are helping to change disability.
Sure. I just want to move on, if you'll forgive me; the time is short. I'd be interested in the view of the panel on whether you think that's replicable, but can I just first off ask Rebecca Gould to elaborate on something you started off by saying, which is—if I understood you correctly—that the role of the state should be more about getting the infrastrucutre in place for those partnerships rather than simply starting with a question of, 'How do we leverage in extra finance?' Could you say a little bit more about that?
I think we need to reconceptualise our understanding of the role of the arts and the economy, I think. It used to be—and I think I said this in my paper—that there was a very clear division between whether you were making art for the sake of making art or whether you were making art for entertainment. That was the kind of general understanding. We are now moving to an era, I think, where we understand that the relationship between arts and society and education and community and regeneration and all of those other things is incredibly complex and incredibly rich, and I think we have to understand that, actually, it's not a case of either/or: either you do proper art or you do art in the community. Actually, it's the same thing. And to go back to what I said initially, I think that the structures need to represent that.
Well, I think it needs to be just a not kind of, 'Oh, there is a funder' and giving money to organisations, that, actually, there needs to be a much more strategic view of how we bring together funding and development and community engagement and health and well-being, and, actually, I think this is a place where Welsh Government could really develop some thought leadership and some leadership in the sector of bringing those things closer together, but also, I think, more than that, looking at how they then align to our position of Wales in the world, how do they offer something to 'brand Wales', if you like. How do they align with tourism, with inward investment, with trade, with education and so on? The first thing that needs to happen is that these things need to be brought together in some sort of think tank or something, in order for us to really look across the structures that exist in Wales and how me might change them in order to better represent the way in which the arts and the world work today.
That's a really interesting idea. Do you have any clear ideas of the mechanics of how that would work? Or is this a concept of yours?
It's a concept. I could go into—. There are obviously lots of different ways that would need to be tested. I think Eluned mentions in her paper—and I think the arts council have already mentioned this—that, at the moment, we've got a slightly false divide between the arts council and the creative industries, for example. That's actually really unhelpful in terms of developing a sector that is better prepared and able to contribute to its future. Straight off, there's one way. But also, there's Eluned Morgan's arts and health cross-party group that is looking at this at the moment. These things should be talking to one another. When I go to Welsh Government, you need to go to one place to talk to trade, one place to talk to creative industries. Actually, why can't we be bringing those things together?
The Welsh Government is creating something called Creative Wales. I'm not entirely clear what it is yet. Is there an opportunity in doing that to try and address some of these points?
Yes, I think so. It needs a lot of thought and it needs to be another—not necessarily another organisation, I know we're afraid of those, but definitely a bringing together over a longer period of time of the thought leaders in this area.
Ie, os caf i, os gwelwch yn dda. Byddwn i'n croesawu bod yna bartneriaethu ehangach yn digwydd, yn sicr, ac mae yna gyfleoedd ffantastig i fod yn gwneud hynny ar hyn o bryd. O fod mewn sefyllfa ryngwladol heriol, fel rydym yn ffeindio ein hunain ar hyn o bryd, mae yna gyfle i ailystyried lle rydym ni a sut rydym yn symud ymlaen.
Byddwn i'n dweud, os ydych yn edrych ar raglen waith y Llywodraeth gyfredol o'i gymharu efo'r Llywodraeth gynt, roedd y gair 'rhyngwladol' yn ymddangos efallai unwaith yn y rhaglen bum mlynedd yn ôl. Mae yna fwy o'r gair 'rhyngwladol' na sydd yna dudalennau ar hyn o bryd. Rydw i'n meddwl bod yr ewyllys yna. Nid wyf yn angenrheidiol yn meddwl ein bod ni fel asiantaethau gwahanol yn gwybod yn union sut rydym yn cydweithio'n rhyngwladol eto. Mae angen, yn bendant, datblygu strategaeth a'n tynnu ni at ein gilydd. Ond ni fyddwn, yn angenrheidiol, yn dweud mai asiantaethau newydd ydy'r ateb i'r ffordd o symud ymlaen—hynny ydy, cydweithio mewn ffordd lle rydym yn gallu edrych ar beth mae'r ochr fasnach yn ei gwneud.
Roedd Clare yn siarad am y daith fasnach wnaethom helpu i'w datblygu efo cynnwys diwylliannol y llynedd i Tsieina. Roedd hynny'n brofiad gwych i bawb a oedd yn rhan ohono, gan gynnwys yr asiantaethau sy'n cefnogi'r sectorau, achos rydym ni'n dysgu ar y daith yma hefyd. Nid oes neb yn gwybod yr atebion i bopeth. Mae modelau diddorol iawn mewn llefydd gwahanol yn y byd. Rydych yn edrych ar beth sy'n digwydd yn Seland Newydd o gwmpas cerddoriaeth, lle maen nhw wedi dod â phedwar corff gwahanol o dan un bartneriaeth i helpu hyrwyddo. Mae yna nifer o fodelau gwahanol y gallwn ni edrych arnyn nhw.
Mae gwybod ein blaenoriaethau ni, lle rydym eisiau mynd, a beth sy'n eu gyrru nhw, yn bwysig. Mae'r rheini'n dod o nifer o lefydd gwahanol. Yn sicr, mae yna'r ochr beth ydy blaenoriaethau Cymru a sut rydym ni fel sector yn cydweithio y tu ôl i Lywodraeth mewn cyd-destun ehangach. Mae yna flaenoriaethau i'r celfyddydau lle mae yna farchnadoedd penodol sy'n cynnig cyfleoedd, efallai, yn benodol i'r celfyddydau. Ond wedyn, hefyd, mae yna'r ochr lle rydym ni eisiau dylanwadu a chael partneriaethau mewn ffyrdd gwahanol. Rwy'n meddwl bod Ewrop yn rhan fawr o hynny ar hyn o bryd, os ydym yn ystyried ein dyfodol o fewn hynny.
Rwy'n meddwl, o ran sut rydym ni'n cyfleu beth ydy Cymru, a beth ydy brand Cymru yn y byd, bod yna andros o waith gennym ni i'w wneud yn y fanna. O gwmpas Tsieina ar hyn o bryd, mae yna goblyn o gyfle. Mae gennym ni, ym mis Mawrth, mewn ffordd, mis Cymru yn Tsieina, oherwydd mae'r cwmni opera cenedlaethol allan yna, mae taith fasnach yn mynd ar yr un pryd, a'r wythnos wedyn mae Gareth Bale allan yna efo tîm Cymru. So, mae hynny'n rhoi her uniongyrchol inni ar y pwynt yma mewn hanes o ran sut rydym yn cymryd mantais o ddigwyddiad fel yna.
If I may, yes. I would welcome wider partnerships being created, and there are fantastic opportunities to do that at the moment. In being in a challenging international context, like the one we're currently facing, there is a chance to reconsider where we are and how we move forward.
I would say that if you look at the current Government's work programme as compared to that of the the previous Government, the word 'international,' appeared once in the programme five years ago. Now the word 'international' appears more times than there are pages at the moment. I think the will is there. I don't think that we necessarily, as different agencies, know exactly how we are to collaborate internationally yet. We certainly need to develop a strategy and draw us all together. But I wouldn't necessarily say that new agencies are the way forward—I think it's collaboration in a way that we can look at what the commercial sector is doing.
Clare mentioned the trade mission that we helped to develop with arts content that went to China. That was an excellent experience for everyone who was involved, including the agencies supporting the sectors, because we're all learning. Nobody knows the answers to everything. There are very interesting models across the world. If you look at what happens in New Zealand around music, where they've brought four different organisations under one umbrella, to help to promote music there—there are so many different models that we could look at.
Knowing our priorities, the direction of travel, and what drives us is important. That comes from a number of different places. Certainly, there's the issue of what Wales's priorities are, and how we as a sector collaborate behind Government in a broader context. There are priorities for the arts themselves, there are specific markets that offer specific opportunities for the arts sector. But also, there is the side where we want to have an influence and have different kinds of partnerships. I think Europe is a major part of that the moment and we should consider our future within that.
I think in terms of how we convey what Wales is and what the Welsh brand is, then there's a huge amount of work to be done. In China, there's a huge opportunity at the moment. In March, we have a Welsh month in China, in a way, because the national Welsh opera company is out there, there's a trade mission and then Gareth Bale is out there with the Welsh football team. That gives us a direct challenge at this point in history as to how we take full advantage of an event such as that.
I think it's a very persuasive concept. We, as a committee, have to come up with practical recommendations for change. So, I would certainly welcome a short additional paper, if you have some specific suggestions. I was particularly struck by the British Council's suggestion of a high-profile international culture platform. I think it's a really interesting idea.
Sorry to rush through this, but there's a lot we want to do. Before I finish my bit, could I just ask Pauline Burt about the work that you're doing to try and capture intellectual property? Because the arts council have told us they don't think that's sufficiently exploited currently, and your work seems interesting.
We're a sector development agency, so we work differently from the other national companies who are producing themselves the content that they're working on. So, we're working with many, many companies; we have about 60 projects that are active in development and we've had 60 projects that have been produced. And, wherever we can, we're really trying to make sure that the value that is blatant in an underlying idea can be developed to its full potential. I have to say, that came out of the position of probably the first five years of operation of just repeatedly seeing relatively new and emerging companies and talent—and we always work with Welsh talent and companies; we're not an inward investment skewed organisation—where they would make a film, put it out there and just wait for the market to respond to it, and, more often than not, it wouldn't.
So, we try and do what we can to share and capture knowledge and to create networks and bring people together across different disciplines, whether that's exploitation of music, education assets, theatre adaptation, television adaptation or book publications, et cetera, so that people are aware of the potential. They may have a film idea that might not be an original idea; it might be an adaptation of something else—a stage piece or a television piece—or it could go on to a forward journey where they're exploiting those other rights, whether they're producing that themselves or whether they're working in partnership with others who have that expertise.
The important thing about that is to develop the awareness of the project from really early on, so they're thinking about what the market is for their project and who is going to come and see it—where are they, what do they value and how are they going to get them to know about it. And, from very early on, even in development, which can take three or four years, you can be testing those ideas, you can have teasers, you can have crowd campaigns, you can create market concept materials and you can look at whether you can pre-sell distribution rights. So, you're constantly looking at, 'Is this something that people want to buy down the line?' and 'Are there other assets that could be developed?'
Well, we're getting an awful lot of interest in it. I'm on the board of Cine Regio, which is a European film funder body—there are about 44 European film funds who are members—and this appears to be pioneering. It's not something that is ordinarily done in the independent sector. Of course, it's routinely the way that studios work, and you can't do it on that sort of scale, but you can try and look at what works for the individual projects that you're supporting. And you can look at trying to move companies from a position where they're going from project to project to thinking more about developing their company brands and to having cash flow across different kinds of areas in the sector that they're working on.
It takes a very long time to develop a film. What else could you be doing in the meantime? You might be working in advertising, you might be developing, as I say, education assets, you might be doing some television work, you might be doing some services for other people. Some of the companies we're working with, for example, have created post-production facilities to edit, and support other people in working in those areas. So, it's really thinking in a more business-like way about how they develop their cash flow and their brand identity.
Several of you have mentioned the China mission. I just wondered how common it was for there always to be an arts element to the delegation on trade missions, or whether—. There are very specific reasons why there is a huge market for cultural interchange with China, and I just wondered if it was systematic and who decides exactly who gets to go.
Na, nid yw'n digwydd yn systematig, ond byddwn i'n annog iddo fo fod yn digwydd yn fwy systematig. Mae Denmarc, er enghraifft, yn credu mewn rhoi celf ym mhob un daith fasnach maen nhw'n ei wneud yn rhyngwladol, ac rydw i'n meddwl mai dyna'r ffordd i fod yn ystyried model i'r dyfodol. Roedd un Tsieina wedi dod oherwydd bod Tsieina'n rhoi cymaint o bwyslais ar bartneriaethu a pherthynas a beth ydy rôl diwylliant a rôl y celfyddydau mewn agor drysau, os liciwch chi. So, rydw i'n meddwl roedd o'n gweithio'n dda yn Tsieina—cael masnach a'r diwylliant efo'i gilydd. Rydym ni hefyd wedi bod yn rhan o deithiau o'r fath yn India, ond byddwn i'n awgrymu ein bod ni'n ystyried hynny fel ffordd i'r strategaeth symud ymlaen yn y dyfodol.
Jest i ddweud hefyd, mae gennym ni fforwm rhyngwladol lle rydym ni, bob tair blynedd, yn dod â chyrff celfyddydol Cymru at ei gilydd efo'r Cyngor Prydeinig ac efo Llywodraeth Cymru a phartneriaethau, ac mae gennym ni gyfle i fod yn gwneud hynny eto yn dod i fyny yn y gwanwyn. Felly, mae cael adborth ac awgrymiadau gan y pwyllgor yma yn mynd i fod yn ddefnyddiol iawn i ni fod yn symud ymlaen efo hynny.
No, it doesn't happen systematically, but I would suggest that it should happen in a more systematic way. Denmark, for example, believes in including the arts in all of their international trade missions and I think that's the way to be looking at a future model. The China issue came about because China does place such an emphasis on partnerships and relationships and the role of culture and the arts in opening doors. So, I think it worked particularly well in China to have that link between trade and the arts. We've also been part of such missions in India, too, but I would suggest that we should consider that as a way for any future strategy to move forward in the future.
If I could also say that we do have an international forum where, every three years, we come together, as arts bodies, with the British Council, the Welsh Government and all sorts of other partners, and we do that on a three-yearly basis. There's another opportunity to do that in the spring. So, getting feedback and suggestions from this committee will be very useful in moving forward with that.
Okay. The other three—do you agree that it should be systematic, and that all trade missions should have some cultural element?
Yes, but Wales Arts International has been a very good conduit to actually make those recommendations, because Wales Arts International knew that we had an interest in the Chinese market, not least because there was interest for us to tour in China, and so Wales Arts International was able to say, ‘Listen, we think we should get into that market’. The impact has been really enormous in that not only is it meaning we are going in May to take a tour of one of our productions there, but actually the Chinese now are looking to invest in a project we’re making in 2019, so they want to be co-producers, which has opened the doors up for big commercial operators like Ambassador Theatre Group to think of working with us as well.
The next stage is actually they have become very, very interested in replicating the model that we have of training people with learning disabilities. So, for us to be able to go out to China with actually a kind of human rights mission, as well as the arts mission—it has had the most incredible impact. And it was all through being able to join a trade mission. I’m hoping I can actually join a trade mission to go to South Africa early in 2018.
I’d likewise agree. I do think there’s an artificial divide between culture and economy. These things flow between each other, and they’re highly interconnected, whether it’s about training or building capacity. They're cultural products—they are for sale, at the end of the day.
I’d just add to that that I completely agree. I think that culture should be involved in all trade missions, obviously, but also I think we have to remember that the arts and culture in Wales can be the calling card for Wales, and I think we will see this. We saw it with the WNO going to Dubai, to the Dubai opera house. Not only did they perform Madam Butterfly and Tosca, but they also did a massive education project that was enabled by the British Council in Dubai, which meant that they worked with hundreds, thousands of schoolchildren in Dubai as well, all of whom now know what the WNO is, and what Wales is, because from that comes an understanding that Wales isn’t the same as the rest of the UK, it is different. So, I think in terms of the global influence that the arts and culture can offer to the rest of the industries in Wales, it’s incredibly important.
Okay. One of our most successful exports is higher education, both as a generator of foreign exchange—and also, all the universities I’m involved in have campuses in different parts of the world. So, I just wondered, have you worked with the higher education sector? Because you can see how the arts could help expand the offer that they provide to students in their campuses abroad. Is this something you’ve had discussions with your local higher education providers about?
In terms of the British Council in Wales, we’ve got an education and an arts function, and I’m sure many of you will know about the Global Wales initiative, which partners with higher education, tourism, trade and inward investment to promote Welsh universities to the overseas markets. It is an integrated model of engagement, and one that could be extended to the arts and culture. I think that we have a model in higher education that works extremely well in terms of bringing money in, in terms of influence and engagement, and it’s there to be replicated. We don’t even have to look outside of Wales.
Byddwn i’n dweud, o ran y gwaith rydym ni’n ei wneud yn Tsieina, yn sicr mae’r sector addysg wedi bod yn un hynod bwysig. Yn y grŵp rhanddeiliaid sydd gennym ni, mae’r prifysgolion a’r Sefydliad Confucius wedi bod yn chwarae rôl fawr. Ond byddwn i’n dweud hefyd, os ydych chi’n edrych ar rywle fel Pontio, sydd yn derbyn arian o’r cyngor celfyddydau fel arian craidd, ond hefyd yn rhan o brifysgol, mae nifer fawr o’r disgyblion sydd yn dod o dramor yn dod o Tsieina, ac mae yna gyfleoedd gennym ni rŵan yn sgil ein bod ni’n trio dod â’r sector at ei gilydd i fod yn gweithio—ac wrth ddweud 'y sector' rwy'n golygu’r un diwylliannol. O ran y memorandwm efo Tsieina, mae’n cynnwys addysg, chwaraeon, diwylliant yn ei ffurf ehangach, a chelfyddydau a chreadigrwydd. Felly, mae Pontio mewn ffordd yn cynnig platfform ar gyfer y sector i gyd. Maen nhw ar fin lansio'r ŵyl Cymru-Tsieina gyntaf, sydd yn mynd i gymryd lle ym mis Chwefror, ac mae hynny, mewn ffordd, yn dod yn sgil gwaith y maen nhw'n ei wneud—ac rwy'n cytuno; mae gennym ni gêm i ddal i fyny efo addysg bellach mewn lot o ffyrdd yn y celfyddydau, ac mae yna lefydd, pan fydd gennych chi addysg a chreadigrwydd a chelfyddydau yn dod at ei gilydd, lle mae yna ffordd wedyn o dapio i mewn i rwydweithiau ehangach. Mae Prifysgol Nottingham yn cynnig model i Pontio. Maen nhw'n gweithio'n agos ynglŷn â'r ffordd maen nhw'n gweithio gydag Asia'n ehangach. Felly, rwy'n meddwl yn sicr ei bod yn ffordd ymlaen.
I would say, in terms of the work that we’ve done in China, certainly the education sector has been crucially important. In the stakeholder group that we have, the universities and the Confucius Institute have played a huge part in that. But also, if you look at the Pontio centre, it receives core funding, but also, as part of the university, a huge number of the students coming from abroad come from China, and there are opportunities that we have as a result of trying to bring the sector together—and by ‘the sector’ I mean culturally. In terms of the memorandum with China, it includes education, sport, culture in its wider sense and the creative arts. Pontio offers a platform for the sector as a whole. They’re about to launch a Wales-China festival for the first time, which will take place in February, and that comes as a result of the work that they've done—and I agree that we have a job to do to catch up in the arts and further education, but when you bring the arts, education and culture together, you can tap into wider networks. Nottingham University is working with Pontio. They are collaborating closely in terms of their work with Asia more widely. So, I firmly believe that this is a way forward.
Rydym ni'n symud ymlaen rŵan i'r set olaf o gwestiynau, gan Suzy Davies.
We'll move on now to the final set of questions, from Suzy Davies.
Diolch yn fawr. I just want to drag us back to domestic things, very briefly, and foundations and trusts. You've all had experience, by the sound of it, of applying at some point to foundations and trusts. Bearing in mind what we've been talking about more latterly, do you think there's a difficulty? You know, Wales has this reputation for not making very good applications to trusts, and we don't do particularly well out of them compared to other parts of the UK. Is there something limiting about foundations and trusts and what's been a bit of a dependence on them in the past to fill gaps? Because what you're talking about now is far more exciting than some of the things that these trusts allow you to do. Is it time to move on from foundations and trusts?
In my experience, the foundations and trusts are really fundamental in the strategy of growth. They are very, very keen across the board in where there are new projects and where things are in development. Once you've actually completed your growth, or once you're beginning to level out and you're beginning to embed, then the trusts and foundations lose interest. So, we've just had a four-year massive growth from one academy to five academies, from seven actors to 70 actors, and have been beneficiaries of Paul Hamlyn, and Esmée Fairbairn, and Rayne, and John Ellerman, and have done extremely well out of it, but now, it's going to be that we're now moving into a new phase after five years where that's going to become much, much more difficult. And, actually getting core money is really—
—really a problem.
I just want to test that slightly, though, because we've had evidence that it's actually the biggest organisations with the professional fundraisers that seem to do better at getting hold of money from these trusts. Is that right?
I don't know. Hijinx, for example, is a very small organisation—a tiny organisation—where, you know, I have to do my fundraising myself. So, I don't think it's necessarily to do with the scale of the organisation; it's to do with the product that you have to sell. We are in a unique situation, because we bridge the arts and welfare, so we tick all those boxes about changing lives. It's much, much more difficult for a dance company, a theatre company who are producing just art.
That's right. You have a USP, don't you? So, is that a fair reflection, or is that—?
I've sat on the Wellcome Trust. I was on the Wellcome Trust for five years, so I've seen it from the other side, if you like, and I think that, in terms of Wales, there is far more capacity for—maybe 'capacity' is the wrong word. I think we should be chasing far more trust and foundation money than we are. I think that trusts and foundations are looking for a safe pair of hands to give their money to. You know, they don't have a lot, generally, and they want to spend it very wisely, and so it does become very difficult to give it to organisations that don't prove that they are safe, essentially, which does make it difficult for individual artists or those who we know are struggling than for the Wales Millennium Centre, for example, because the Wales Millennium Centre is definitely going to be around in 10 years' time, whereas the individual artist might have given up and gone and done something else. And that is a problem for trusts and foundations, I think.
I also think there's a real issue in Wales of confidence to apply to these London-based trusts generally. We've got a big grant at the moment from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, who would say, I think, that they do get applications from Wales, but not enough, and the quality, as you've already pointed out, is not always what it could be. However, there's also an excuse that is used, which we are working with Paul Hamlyn on, that a lot of the money goes to educational projects, and, obviously, we have a different curriculum in Wales, and in Scotland, and so on. But this is not insurmountable. Do you know what I mean? You've only got to do it once; you've only got to make the link once with a trust and say, 'This is how it works in Wales, and the curriculum is different and, therefore, we need to look at this, this and this, rather than that, that and that'. And that stays within the institutional memory of that trust, I think. Certainly, that's true for Paul Hamlyn. So, I think we do need to make more effort, and I think we do need to support arts organisations more to do it, but I also think that we need to remember that, from a trust and foundation side, what actually they're looking for, which is safety, I think.
Okay, that's really good.
A ydych chi eisiau ychwanegu rhywbeth cyn i fi ofyn y cwestiwn nesaf?
Did you have anything to add before I move on?
Efallai fod yna rywbeth rydym ni angen edrych arno fo yn nhermau capasiti. Os ydy cyrff efo aelodau staff craidd yn gallu gwneud y gwaith, mae yna fwy o gapasiti ganddyn nhw i roi ceisiadau ar gyfer prosiectau. Rwy'n meddwl ei bod yn anodd iawn ar gwmnïau sy'n neidio o brosiect i brosiect i fedru buddsoddi'r amser i ysgrifennu'r applications gwahanol y mae'n rhaid iddyn nhw i amrywiaeth o gyrff er mwyn jest cael yr arian i fedru goroesi.
Ond, byddwn i hefyd yn dweud bod yna gyfle i fod yn gweithio'n wahanol efo cyrff. Rydym ni ar fin lansio ail raglen beilot efo PRS for Music er mwyn mynd â cherddorion o Gymru drwy'r rhaglen international showcase fund allan i wneud showcases gwahanol yn y byd. Rwy'n meddwl bod cyfle i ni fel cyrff hefyd edrych pa sefydliadau eraill efallai nad ydym ni'n gweithio mewn ffordd benodol efo nhw ar hyn o bryd, lle mae yna gyfle i wneud rhywbeth gwahanol yn ogystal â mewn gwledydd eraill. Felly, er enghraifft, yn Ariannin, os oes yna ddatblygu gwaith yn y fan honno, mae yna foundation o’r enw Williams foundation lle maen nhw'n edrych ar weithio efo cyrff celfyddydol a chreadigol mewn ffurfiau cerddoriaeth gwahanol. So, ychydig rydym ni'n gwybod mewn gwirionedd ynglŷn â pa foundations eraill sydd yna y byddem ni'n gallu cydweithio efo nhw yn y byd. Rwy'n meddwl bod bach o waith ymchwil i wneud i fewn i hynny yn y gwledydd lle rydym ni'n bwriadu bod yn gweithio.
Perhaps there is something that we need to look at in terms of capacity. If organisations have core staff members who can do the work, then they have more capacity to actually make applications for projects. I think it's very difficult for companies who jump from one project to the next to invest the time in writing these various applications that they have to submit to a range of organisations just so that they can survive.
But, there is an opportunity to work differently. We are about to launch a second pilot programme with PRS for Music in order to take Welsh musicians through the international showcase fund programme so that we can produce different showcases across the world. I think there is an opportunity for us as organisations to look at what other organisations we should be looking at that we're not currently working with, where there is an opportunity to work differently as well as internationally. For example, in Argentina, when work is developed there, there is a foundation called the Williams foundation, where they look at working with arts and creative organisations in terms of different music genres. So, we know little in reality about what other foundations there are across the world that we could work with. I think there is some research that could be done, particularly in those nations where we intend to work in future.
Diolch. I just want to ask Pauline Burt specifically, because Film Cymru doesn't particularly get much philanthropic input, but you said earlier on that, through you, people are very good at applying to pots of money that do exist for the benefit of film. Obviously, you're very successful at that. We've got the resilience programme coming under the arts council as well now, which kind of addresses this. Are you getting any sense that this willingness to engage with the world of finance is being demonstrated now? You mentioned capacity, but part of resilience is to use existing capacity and retrain it, if you like. Are you seeing the fruits of these plans yet, and is your expertise, if I can say, crossing over into these other sectors? As you said, you didn't want to be in or it's not just about staying in one sector, but that you want to spread the love a little.
We're not part of the resilience programme ourself, but I think that's because we have a particular delegation arrangement with the arts council. Resilience, to me, is about being adaptable, and if you don't adapt in business, whether you're in arts business or any other kind of business, then you've got a problem. So, certainly, our experience with the film companies that we're working with—and many of them are very small companies; there may be fewer than five employees—is that the education companies within them are quite successful at going to trusts and foundations, perhaps for quite small amounts of moneys. If they're going for larger amounts, then collaboration is probably the way forward on that.
But, in terms of adapting and looking at other areas, when we started our programme, our approach, when we were encouraging people to do that, which was about four years ago, we tested it for a year before that with some specific projects and some research, which is on our website. We actually expected there would be quite a lot of resistance and people would be, 'It's hard enough to make a film, so why are you talking to us about these rules of IP? Why can't we just give our film to a distributor and they can go off and do it, or a sales agent?'
But actually, people want their films to be bought, and they want them to be seen, and they want to be viable in business for years hence. We've had almost no resistance to working in this more adaptable way. Right at this moment in time, we have 23 projects on our development slate that are directly speaking—and this is during the early development of their projects—to their intended audience. They're trying to reach out to them, whether that's through a crowd platform or teaser engagement or market research, effectively.
Many projects—almost half now at this point—that are actively in production, where they are actively developing and exploiting additional IP, whether they are VR games, which are actually making more money than the film that originally came in—. In that case, that company, which is Red and Black, had never worked in film before that. We talked to them about it on a previous project. We introduced them to a partner, which is another Welsh company, Wales Interactive. They strated to learn about that business. They developed a relationship and, on the next project, they did do a game with them and, as I say, that game is making more money for them than the film is.
And is that sort of leaking out into other parts of the sector is what I'm asking really, because I can see how IP with film is perhaps more self-evident than in a contemporary dance company.
But we're working with our partners, our publishing partners, music partners, tech partners. So, yes. And, of course, we're working as part of the national arts group. There are eight companies within that, of course, as we submitted. So, we're sharing that approach. We're very open to doing sessions for other organisations. We have done that in collaboration with universities as well, so I think there's some real interest. It's all about individual companies deciding what their priorities are at this point in time, and, for some of them, there's a very good fit with health and well-being. For some, there's real potential to exploit education. For others, they're looking at the particular IP for the projects that they're working on. So, it's all about what works for the particular organisation.
Suzy, a fedrwch chi symud ymlaen i'r cwestiynau ar wirfoddoli, jest i gloi?
Suzy, could you move on to the questions in regard to volunteering, quickly, please?
Just one to finish. Without volunteers, the sector would really, really struggle, wouldn't it? I mean, you'll always have difficulty in putting a figure on the value of volunteers within the arts sector, or across the arts now. Is this something we should be making more of, this social capital within the arts? Or is it something that actually we should—sorry, making pitches for money, I mean—or is it something we should be playing down and trying to make sure that everyone involved in the arts is paid properly?
This is a very personal opinion. I went to a Cardiff comprehensive school. I am from a single-parent family. There is absolutely no way I would be working in the arts today had I not been able to be an usher at the New Theatre and at the Sherman. That got me through university and it got me through my early career. I absolutely disagree with not paying people, because it is a real way in for people who are not from the right backgrounds to come and start a career in the arts, and I think it's really important.
We have 141 active volunteers. Most of them have come to us when they're still students or when they have just graduated, and they're coming to work with us. Within six months, many, many of them then become employees as support workers. So, it's a great way of us getting to know young people who are interested in working in the arts. We can test their commitment, and we very quickly are able to identify those whom we want to carry on working with. So, I completely endorse what Rebecca says.
Rydw i'n meddwl bod yna gyfleoedd i wneud interniaethau eang o fewn y celfyddydau, a byddwn i'n annog bod y rheini yn rhai sy'n cael o leiaf rhyw fath o dâl achos mae eisiau rhoi gwerth ar y gwaith sy'n cael ei wneud. Rydw i'n meddwl bod hynny'n rhywbeth sydd yn bwysig yn y celfyddydau wrth symud ymlaen. Roeddem ni'n siarad am resilience. Mae rhoi gwerth i'r cynnyrch ac i beth rydym ni'n ei wneud yn rhywbeth rydym ni really angen rhoi pwyslais arno fo, boed hynny o fewn cael pobl i wirfoddoli, ac mae yna le i wirfoddoli. Rydw i'n gweld efo plant ifanc sut mae chwaraeon wedi cicio i mewn i'w bywydau nhw yn gynnar iawn, iawn oherwydd bod yna wirfoddoli yn digwydd yn y pentrefi mewn ffordd nad sydd yn digwydd yn y celfyddydau. Mae hynny'n achos poen i mi; nad ydw i'n gallu cael yr un ddarpariaeth i'm mhlant o fewn cerddoriaeth ag sydd mewn chwaraeon, er enghraifft. Ond, wedi dweud hynny, mae gennym ni gyfle trwy ailystyried sut rydym ni'n edrych ar y sector, sut mae resilience yn cicio i mewn—beth ydy'r pecyn eang sydd angen ei ystyried ar gyfer cael yr ecology i weithio'n dda efo'i gilydd, os leiciwch chi. Ac, i fi, mae'r rhyngwladol yn rhan o hynny. Dyna ydy'r drafodaeth heddiw. Beth mae resilience yn cynnig i'r cwmnïau ydy edrych ar ystod eang o gyfleoedd iddyn nhw. Mae'n bwysig eu bod nhw'n sticio at eu cynllun busnes eu hunain, ond yn gallu dod ag elfennau gwahanol, newydd i mewn, mewn ffordd, efallai, nad oeddem ni wedi'i hystyried o'r blaen. Rydw i'n meddwl bod hynny'n gyfle pwysig i'r cwmnïau i gyd.
I think there are opportunities for a broad range of internships within the arts, and I would encourage that to have some sort of remuneration because you do need to place a value on the work done. I think that's important in the arts in moving forward. We were talking about resilience. Actually adding value and placing value on what we do is something that we truly need to emphasise, be that in terms of volunteering or otherwise. There is scope for volunteering. I do see, with young children, how sport kicks into their lives at a very early stage because there is volunteering happening in villages and towns in a way that doesn't happen in the arts. It pains me that I can't get the same provision for my children within music as I can get within sport. But, having said that, we do have an opportunity in reassessing how we look at the sector and how resilience kicks in to consider the broad package that we need to consider in order to have the ecology working effectively. And for me, the international is part of that, and that's part of the discussion today. What resilience provides for companies is an opportunity to look at a broad range of opportunities. It's important that they do stick to their own business plan but that they can also bring new, different elements in in a way that we haven't considered in the past, and I think that's an important opportunity for all of the companies.
Diolch yn fawr iawn. Rydym ni wedi rhedeg allan o amser yn anffodus. Mae yna ychydig o faterion eraill y byddem ni wedi hoffi eu codi efo chi. Fe wnawn ni ysgrifennu atoch chi, gobeithio. Diolch yn fawr iawn am eich tystiolaeth y bore yma. Fe gawn ni doriad byr.
Thank you very much. Time has beaten us, I'm afraid. We have a few other matters that we would have liked to have raised with you, but we will write to you with those. Thank you very much for your evidence this morning. We'll have a short break.
Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 10:28 a 10:34.
The meeting adjourned between 10:28 and 10:34.
Croeso nôl i'r pwyllgor, a chroeso i'r ail banel sydd yn ymuno efo ni bore yma. Cyn hynny, rydym ni wedi derbyn ymddiheuriadau gan Rhianon Passmore. A gaf i ofyn i chi egluro pwy ydych chi a pham rydych chi yma mewn gwirionedd, gan ddechrau efo chi, efallai, Mr Prichard?
Welcome back to the committee and welcome to the second panel joining us this morning. Before we move on, we have received apologies from Rhianon Passmore. May I ask you to introduce yourselves and explain why you're here? Can we start with you, Mr Prichard?
My name's Mathew Prichard, I am the chairman of the Colwinston Charitable Trust, which is a charitable trust that supports the arts in Wales and occasionally in England. We've been doing so for the last 15 years, and I support the Assembly's interest in private funding of the arts, which is so important to us all. I was invited to come and appear before you in the hope that we might have an exchange of views about what private funding has done in the past and will do in the future.
My name's Hoodi Ansari. I am the chair of G39, which is a small gallery based here in Cardiff. I also work, as a day job, for Confused.com, the insurance aggregator. I work in a business development capacity, both internally and externally, out across the UK with small insurers. I'm here because I do believe that the arts in Wales needs to do more to support itself and to generate its own income, but I think that we need some help along the way, and I think that we're not quite equipped to make that massive leap just yet. So, that's what I'd like to discuss.
I'm Stephen Thornton. I'm the public affairs manager for Valero Energy Ltd. We are a global refining company based in Pembrokeshire and we are a funder of the arts here in Wales and in Pembrokeshire, and have been at the refinery for many, many years—over 50 years. So, I'm really here just to offer my experience of what we do and to give you some feedback on how it works for us.
Petaswn i'n gofyn ichi am sylwadau cyffredinol i ddechrau am gymorth i'r celfyddydau gan y sector busnes, sut ydym ni'n mynd i gael mwy o arian i mewn i'r sector? Dyna ydy'r prif gwestiwn rydym ni'n ceisio ei ateb yn fan hyn, heddiw yma. Efallai gallwn ddechrau efo chi, Stephen.
I'd like to ask you for general comments to begin with on support for the arts by the business sector. How are we going to draw more funding into the sector? That's the main question that we are trying to answer today, perhaps starting with you, Stephen.
When we make a decision about funding the arts, we have a number of criteria that we look at. Firstly, we look at how that's going to benefit the individuals involved in the project: so, is that going to lift people out of social deprivation, first of all? What are the educational benefits of the projects that we would like to fund? And, also, there's where it's going in the future. I think, for us, as an engineering concern, we see a correlation between the arts and engineering in terms of—it's the same part of the creative brain, if you like. So, we would like to see not just private funding, but public funding for fine arts apprenticeships, because we feel people doing fine arts apprenticeships and doing science, technology, engineering and mathematics apprenticeships, there would be a crossover. We would benefit from that as a company, here; we'd find people from both sides going into both of those. We have engineers on site who design for us parts of our refinery and solve problems that way. So, for us, it's about the future and the economic drivers that that would bring to Wales, as well. So, it's private and public funding for us.
But, of course, your main concern as a company is to make profit. How does this fit in? How does the support for the arts fit into that kind of corporate vision?
We recognise that, as a company here in Wales, our staff live and work in the community. So, when we talk about funding the arts, we are also talking about community stewardship, as well. So, we're talking about providing those opportunities in the community and to provide those economic drivers that will increase and improve the economic performance of the area in which we live, because we are well aware that, in Pembrokeshire, we lack infrastructure in terms of schools, hospitals and connectivity, as well, to Swansea, Cardiff. It's an isolated rural community there, so, by providing funding for the arts, especially in Pembrokeshire, we feel that we're socially including the communities in which we live and work.
And the people who will come to work for you then will be better equipped as workers.
Absolutely. They will develop that creativity, and they may go into the arts, but they may also go into engineering as well. We fund arts projects, but we also fund engineering projects for young people as well, and those opportunities are open to both so that they have that choice. But, it's about providing that choice for young people so that there is an economic driver in the future. It's partly altruistic, because as a company it's part of our ethos: our company was founded on volunteering in the community as well. Most of our staff go out into the community and help with community projects. In terms of who we are as a company, we're quite young in the oil industry—about 1980—and the company decided from day one really to provide that stewardship and go out into the community and try and help people. So, we do that in Pembrokeshire and we feel that that will bring people towards us and increase that skill set that would come and work at the refinery.
For us, I think the most interesting question is: how can we better generate some of our own revenue? How can we get more money into the gallery ourselves, by realising opportunities that perhaps we aren't at the moment? There are small ways of doing that kind of thing that maybe don't require a huge amount of expertise or forward planning. So, we are leveraging the car park that we have at the front of our gallery. It's a small thing, but by using the app, JustPark, we take away the administration side of managing that and we bring in a little bit of extra revenue to the gallery for spaces that we aren't really using at the front of the space. But that's a really small example, and I think that there are probably innumerate other examples where we recognise that we could bring more money in, but we don't have the time or the expertise to capitalise on those opportunities.
A good example for us recently would be a project that we completed with Nesta around digital innovation. We looked at how non-ticketed venues can better understand the audiences that come through their doors. So, working with Nesta, we were up against a few other organisations that were trying to achieve something similar, and we came out on top and ended up developing an app, but also some supporting software that would allow you to basically take a small sample size of gallery visitors and then extrapolate out what your audiences look like. That's working really well for us, but one of the benefits of that is that we now own the intellectual property in that app, and we've spoken to other arts organisations in Wales and they like the idea of what we've built and would like to use it themselves.
Where we lack expertise is in being able to say, 'Okay, what should the commercial arrangement look like there?' Because we could just say, 'Great, let's get this out to everybody in Wales', and that would be of benefit across the sector, but actually I think there's a better opportunity there, and that's something we're just not equipped to make the most of. We're getting there with things like the resilience programme that the Arts Council of Wales is currently running. So, that's been running with full steam for the last year or so. We've been working with a consultant who has helped us in a number of other areas. But that feels like the first step on a much longer journey. I think it's interesting that Arts Council England has had a similar programme running for around five years now. So, what started as a pilot programme for them has had to continue because they recognise that there is this continual development needed within the arts in England, and I think there's a similar story in Wales.
Before I answer your question, unlike many of my colleagues, I didn't submit any written evidence, and I'd just like to give you four or five sentences on what we do, which I think will help us later on. As I said, the Colwinston Charitable Trust has been in existence since about 2001, when the rights of a certain famous play in London, written by my grandmother, Agatha Christie, reverted to my family. We decided to use our royalty from that play to put some money back, so to speak, to where the money came from, i.e. the arts. Since 2002-03, we have distributed just over £5.4 million to the arts, of which £4.1 million has come to Wales. We support, broadly speaking, opera, the visual arts and music. Those are the sort of guidelines that we tell everybody. We do occasionally step outside those parameters, but not very often. We prefer to do things that really make a difference rather than spread it, so to speak, evenly.
I think the two most important things that I'd like to say are: even as an organisation where the comparative size of our resources is a lot bigger than many other donors, what the Arts Council of Wales does is crucial to us. We couldn't operate without the Arts Council of Wales as a—. Well, we aren't actually formal partners in any projects, but we are, in effect, partners because we support many of the same organisations. It stands to reason that if those organisations either fall away or don't exist at all then there is nothing for us to support. On the other hand, the good news is that we have no plans to do anything else than support the arts, and, as I live here and have a great affection for this great country that we all live in, we'll go on doing what we can to help for as long as we can.124
I think the other thing that is crucial—and it's very difficult to know how to do this, but there does seem to be a sort of embarrassment in some quarters about supporting the arts. People think other things are more important—the obvious one being health—but we do what we do because we think that very few people do. But I think, somehow, between us, we have to find the language to persuade people that supporting the arts actually does help the communities in which we live, does provide entertainment and relaxation and, perhaps most importantly, does attract people to the country. Between them, the national museum, Wales Millennium Centre, the Welsh National Opera—. But they're not the only—. People are attracted to west Wales to go to festivals; we support a lot of festivals. I won't say any more now, but I think that's where we come from.
Thank you. I'll bring in Neil and then we can explore some of those afterwards.
It's a very challenging environment to seek private funding, because Wales is the poorest part of the United Kingdom, where average income is about 75 per cent of the UK average. Also, we don't have many large companies that are based in Wales; everybody goes to Admiral and Valero and the handful of companies that everybody knows about. But it's a very small proportion of people's income that is spent on arts-related projects and there must be scope for substantially increasing the small amount of money that comes to arts organisations, notwithstanding the background.
So, I was wondering what your own views are on the scope and the means by which we might prise more money out of people for arts-related projects. We've just taken evidence before you from a group of organisations who were fundametally talking about partnership deals and producing, effectively, arts-related services—and, Stephen, I suppose this is along the lines of what you were saying earlier on—that are of benefit to the company, to its employees and the wider community, rather than just giving money to an organisation because it is an organisation. The arts organisations, of course, counter by saying, 'Well, we need core funding that is not related to projects and, without that core funding, we wouldn't be able to exist and therefore do all the other things'. That's the conundrum. Can you help us solve it?
I think, when we started 15 years ago, we decided that what we wanted to do was try and help arts organisations perform to the highest level of their ability. And that is the first criterion that we use when deciding where to allocate our money.
I think what has happened in the last 15 years, paradoxically, is that there are many more, now, talented artists who live and work in Wales. And we ought to be very proud of them. But, owing to the comparative lack of mainly public funding, but private funding as well, compared to 2001, they are probably able to perform more below their ability than they were when we started. And what we have jointly got to try and do is give the artists who live and work in Wales the chance to perform to the height of their ability, because that way is the only way they will achieve more funding. I don’t actually believe there is a division between access and excellence. I believe they go together. If you get excellence, you get access. What we have done—not hugely, but it’s sort of gone the wrong way, slightly—is we are not actually keeping pace with artists’ ability. I think, if we can do that more often, you will find that, so to speak, out from under the stones of the private sector will come more private support.
I think there’s a really interesting relationship in value exchange for the arts, particularly speaking in terms of visual arts, given that that’s what our gallery focuses in. We have this tremendous asset in our public museums and galleries in this country, and I think that it’s tremendously valuable that they are free of charge. But that creates an interesting conundrum for people where they can access the best of the best, world-class visual arts for free, outside of the cost of perhaps getting to a gallery or a museum. So, then, why should they part with their cash to go into a small gallery that’s maybe showing an emerging independent artist? I think it’s particularly interesting that our peers in Europe handle this quite differently, where it’s not unusual to go into a small gallery and expect to have to part with €10 to get in, even though it might just be a single, unknown artist that could be showing there. That’s created this culture that’s very, very difficult to break, and I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t have the, 'This is what we need to do, and then everything will be fixed'. But I think that we can start to try and move in that direction.
So, the arts in Wales are very, very squeamish about asking people for money. I think that we need to start trying to do that and making it, in the first instance, perhaps optional. But just making that a clearer message—that, hey, we really do need your support, and anything that you can give would be helpful.
I think that it’s important to maintain that accessibility for those who perhaps can’t afford to part with any cash, or perhaps don’t feel that it’s worth their while, because I think it’s important to be able to say, 'I don’t know if I’m going to enjoy this, or if this is my thing, but I’m going to give it a go because it’s not going to cost me anything’. But there are ways around that as well, either through optional funding, or I really like the model of having an annual ticket to a space that costs the same as any other ticket. So, if it costs £5 or €10 to get into a gallery, that’s your ticket for the year—make the most of it, but if you’re just passing through then it costs you the same, and hopefully that's a good way to drive a little bit more revenue.
So, you think there needs to be more skill and expertise in how to go about extracting money from people’s pockets. One of the complaints that has been made by some organisations is that there’s a lack of skilled fundraisers in Wales, and, from the point of view of trusts, it would be interesting to see from the other side of the table what applications look like, and what they need to look like in order to succeed. I don’t know whether the arts council does enough to guide people in how to present themselves in an attractive way so that people are induced thereby to give money.
Actually, Arts & Business does do quite a lot to train fundraisers. I’m not sure the arts council does, but—. I read a lot of applications, as you might imagine, and I think they are getting better, slowly. I think Arts & Business does a great job. We actually try and help them do that. But I think what people have to have confidence in when they write applications—some of them, you don’t really believe it’s them. You may know the person, and they take on a completely different language when they write an application. What we want to know is what they want to do and what their enthusiasms are, and they have to marry that with answering the questions that are on the application form. I think focus is everything but confidence is also very important, and the best applications are the ones that you almost feel when you read the application that you cannot possibly refuse it, and that means that the person who's written the application doesn't think you're going to refuse it. It's all a matter of confidence and application and actually answering the questions, which what I always tell my children they must do in exams. [Laughter.]
From a business point of view, I also receive countless applications for funding, and it's about economic drivers. Unless you decide you want to fund something because it's your own particular vanity project, you're looking for outputs. There's a branding problem with the arts. It's not just entertainment; it's not just something where you go along to be entertained. There is an economic driver behind it. A lot of artists that I've met are entrepreneurs and business people, because that's how they make a living. So, when we receive applications, we look at the outputs as well. In the written submission, we mentioned our partnership with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, the west Wales drama workshop that we have in Pembrokeshire, which is taking that world-class education to Pembrokeshire, but we need there to be outputs from that, because we've now seen five children from Pembrokeshire win places at world-class institutions. So, there are outputs from that, but there have to be outputs. We receive countless applications where people just write to us and say, 'We've got a wonderful theatre production—can you give us some money towards it?', but, unfortunately, the question is: 'What's in it for us?' either altruistically or, looking to the future, how is that going to benefit people? Where are the benefits?
So, in terms of what fundraisers do, they have to be pretty explicit about what the economic drive is here. Is it going to make money? Is it going to be sustainable and, more importantly, who's going to benefit? Is it the community? Is it individuals? Is it educational, et cetera? But there has to be a bigger picture than just, 'Can you give us some money so that we can be entertained?'
Yes. I just want to finish off on the foundations and trust. Can I just check with you, Mr Prichard, do you give small grants and sort of quite hefty grants? I don't need big details, but I just need a sense of scale.
The smallest grants we usually give would be £5,000. The largest ones are a lot bigger than that, and we do occasionally give grants below £5,000 if we think they have a special character about them.
Yes. I mean, we have to give money to registered charities, but they obviously contain individuals, yes.
Do both of you take into account whether applications have been made to other funding organisations in the UK? What I'm trying to get a sense of here is that people who are good at fundraising, who have the professional fundraisers and know what to say, that manage to get the money from you, or is this basic passion that you were talking about earlier enough to do the job? Because I want to ask about the resilience thing that the arts council's doing, which I'll come to Mr Ansari about.
We receive applications that unashamedly ask us to fund a complete project. We also receive applications which have other funders, both in Wales and outside. On the whole, we prefer the latter, but—
Yes. But it doesn't—. I mean, we have funded many projects over those 15 years in which we have been the sole funder. We don't perhaps have quite Stephen's necessity to look at, so to speak, the returns. We just do it mainly for philanthropic reasons, so, you know, if somebody produces a really good idea and it's perhaps a bit—how can I term it—whacky, and we are the only person to whom it appeals, fair enough. I'll just give you one example. We've recently funded a project called Finding Rhythms, which is alll about teaching people inside prison how to use music to give them a purpose in life, something to compose a song and something to achieve. I thought that was a brilliant idea. It's been a project that has operated in London and south-east England, and we have funded an offshoot in Wales in the prisons in Cardiff and Swansea. That's not a project that you're going to find many partners for because it doesn't have any obvious economic benefits, other than, maybe, it's a very good way of rehabilitating—
Yes. But that's just an example of one where, probably, we were on our own, at least to start with.
Jenny's got a short question, but then we'll come back to the resilience programme.
What resources do you have to decide between project A and project B? You've already said, obviously, you love Wales, you live in Wales, and therefore that's why your focus is on Wales, but you'll still have, presumably, more demand on your resources than you've actually got to distribute.
Well, we have a director and I have four fellow trustees, and that's all.
So, your director has to investigate, or your trustees have to investigate—
Well, she's quite experienced. A long time ago, she used to work for the Welsh National Opera. She's a singer herself. We have trustees—we have one artist and one gallery director and one singer. So, we try and have specialist help. We try and get at the authenticity of people who are asking us for money.
Just to finish off on the professionalism of applications that are made and the influence of presentation, is that important to you or do you sort of see below—
No, it is important. It is important, definitely. You mentioned other organisations already being part of the funding process. That can be a negative as well, because we would have to make a decision about whether we want to be associated with those other brands and whether they want to be associated with us as well. Also, in terms of the public relations part of it—the output from that—being associated with lots of brands would dilute that, and you'd have to make call on whether that dilution is something you want to go ahead with or whether you would prefer to be a sole sponsor of a project, because of the benefits from that. But that's the sort of thinking process that we would go through when we see an application.
Thank you. Can I ask about the resilience programme now? For two different organisations here, the approach would seem to be completely different. Resilience is not just about how to write professional funding applications, I understand that, but you've experienced it. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience of resilience and how much of it is focused on how to appeal to the two gentlemen on either side of you? And how much of it is about innovative ideas for creating your own money?
I can only reference our own experience of the resilience programme. The resilience programme's felt like something that is a trial—a 'Let's give this a go and see if this makes a material impact on, fundamentally, the resilience of arts organisations in Wales.' But it feels as though it's been fairly well tailored to our individual needs. It doesn't feel as though we've been told, 'Okay, we need all arts organisations in Wales to do this, so let's all go and see them doing that.' So, we've had some consultancy from a lady, interestingly outside of Wales, which has been a little bit controversial, not within our organisation but, you know, I think across the sector a little bit more, which has been tailored to our needs at this time. So, what I'm saying about that is that we actually haven't done anything around funding applications and we haven't spoken a great deal yet about how to better realise potential earned income, but we are already talking to the arts council about, 'Okay, if you do a stage 2 of this, this is what we want to talk about next.'
What we've primarily been talking about is actually legal structures. So, for our organisation, we've had some questions that we've not really been able to answer since dot around exactly what type of legal structure we should have—whether we should be a company limited by guarantee or a charitable organisation. We've answered that question now, which is superb, because we've been able to put that to bed and dedicate brainpower to other things. So, that in itself has already been incredibly valuable to us. What I hope is that we get that second stage of now being able to say, 'Great, we've answered that question. Can we move on to the next thing?'
Okay. I'll ask you a very specific question, then. With the help that you've had already, was any of it conditional on—I don't know, it maybe doesn't apply to you at this stage—sharing data that you might acquire as a result of your app, for example? Because, obviously, that a commercialisable piece of kit, as you've mentioned.
No, that hasn't come up as part of the resilience programme at the moment. It's something that we've raised with the arts council as something that we would like to evaluate in the coming year.
I've had experience of the resilience programme with another hat on, because I'm chairman of Artes Mundi.
I think, in many ways, the same as what Hoodi said. I think there is a great difference between what I call 'temporary resilience', which is helping us—I mean, we've just moved office, for instance—with comparatively little things like office moving, IT, and things like that, which are very helpful, but probably not long lasting, if you see what I mean. There is then what I might call 'real resilience', which is what I think Hoodi means by stage 2, which is actually transforming your organisation into a company or a group that is really resilient and will be able to operate on, if not less public funding, at least the same public funding. And I think it is very important for the arts council to proceed to stage 2, or whatever stage it happens to be, which is the process that we're going through now, to actually transform arts companies in Wales into companies that are much more resilient than they are today.
Yes. I think Hoodi mentioned the word 'squeamish'. Do you think that squeamishness is moving out of the culture as a result of this programme?
I have to say, Hoodi, that I haven't found people who ask us for money at all squeamish. [Laughter.]
They know you have pockets with money in them.
As somebody who has enjoyed shows travelling to the West End , I must just say how delighted I am that the ticket price is coming back to fund the sector in Wales, and we owe you our thanks for using your legacy in that way.
Can I ask you first of all about your experience of Arts & Business? We've had some exchanges with the arts council over the last year or so about their support for Arts & Business and whether or not that should be ongoing, and there's still a question mark over that. Can you give us your judgment about how effective they are in facilitating drawing money in?
I don't know how effective they are directly in attracting money in, but I think they do certain, very effective jobs. At Artes Mundi, we had one of the creative interns for six or eight months who had been very well trained. She didn't have much business experience, but she had been trained in how to behave in an office, how to write reports, how to write business applications for sponsorship and things like that—she was brilliant. In fact, she was so brilliant that she left us half the way through the time she was supposed to stay with us because she was offered a paid job with someone else. If Arts & Business did nothing else, if the level of training that was evident in the young lady who came to work for us was true of everybody they train, that would be brilliant. And they do do, I believe, direct—. I mean, this wasn't a particularly fundraising person; she was more of a general artistic person. But I think that that is something very valuable that they do.
My business doesn't operate in Wales, so I don't know how successful they are in persuading business to contribute money towards the arts— I really couldn't tell you, I'm afraid. But, the training that they do is very, very valuable.
Okay. Can I ask Stephen Thornton if he has any experience he could share?
We fund their awards ceremony every year, and we have done for the best part of a decade.
In terms of drawing funding in, I haven't really got much experience.
Well, their efficacy more generally. If they didn't exist, would that leave a gap?
I think it would, but I think the gap would probably be filled by the arts organisations themselves. I think they would probably get together and create their own body.
That would be my view. We have funded arts projects that have then gone to Arts & Business, after the fact, and I know that the businesses pay membership fees, as we do, but I've got no understanding of how much money goes into Arts & Business and then is distributed to arts projects.
But, in your experience of their efficacy as an organisation—. It's hard to ask you to comment on this, but the discussion we've been having with the arts council is: should they get core support from the arts council or should they be left to fend for themselves? Do you have a view on that?
I don't have a view on that, no.
I've got personal experience of Arts & Business. They are how I joined G39. So, taking a brief step back, I actually studied photography, and that's why I'm involved in the arts today. I worked as a photographer for some years and then decided that I liked the idea of a salary and so moved into the corporate world. I wanted to give something back, but I wasn't sure how. My company has a relationship with Arts & Business and funds them—I don't know how much the funding is from my organisation to Arts & Business—so I spoke to them about opportunities that might be available. It was through that that I found the board placement in the first instance with G39.
Although I have a great love of the arts, actually what I bring to the gallery is really not artistic expertise, because they've got bags of that anyway; it's business expertise. And actually, a little bit of that goes a very long way. For me, the interesting thing about Arts & Business is that perhaps the type of person who is inclined to be involved with them already has a particular skill set. What I mean by that is I think that there's lots of the more marketing-driven skills that maybe flow through Arts & Business quite readily, but I'm not sure that we've necessarily got bags of people going through Arts & Business who have things like accountancy or legal or fundraising skills, for example. So, I think they are tremendously valuable, not necessarily in a financial sense, but in bringing skills that the arts sector would otherwise struggle to attract into organisations, but I think there's still a gap in those skills.
Okay. That's what I was going to ask you, going back to your original comments on these gaps. You've mentioned, I think, commercial and legal in your evidence since then. Could you just tell us a little bit more about the gaps you think there are and how you think those might be best filled?
They're broad and far reaching. I think that arts organisations could benefit—I think all arts organisations could benefit—from commercial, legal, accounting, even HR expertise. But that's not to say that arts organisations need somebody embedded who has all of these skills. I don't think that's necessarily practical, especially for smaller organisations. We only have about three full-time staff equivalents. We don't need this colossal body of staff, but we need some of that resource and we need a little bit of help occasionally. If we had a lawyer in-house, they'd be twiddling their thumbs most of the time, but if we could get access to a pool of resource where actually we have half a day of a lawyer's time once a year, that would be tremendously valuable to us.
I think there's an opportunity for an organisation like Arts & Business to become that. They are not at the moment, but I think that could be incredibly valuable. At the moment, we get that kind of resource by sort of begging, borrowing and stealing, you know, by asking friends for pro bono work and that kind of thing, which goes a long way. Asking people you know for help is a very, very valuable thing, but, again, there are inevitably gaps.
Finally, can I ask each of you, if you were to advise us on what recommendations we could make to the Welsh Government and others of something they could do to help in this sector or to help organisations to get resilience and to be able to develop these skills, what sort of thing you think this committee should be thinking about?
I think the remit of the arts council should more explicitly include the ongoing development of the resilience programme. I think it's working well as a stage 1, as a first step, but it's got a long way to go and that should be clearly driven from the top.
I find that a very difficult question to answer, because I'm a people person and I believe that the future of the arts in Wales depends on the skill, talent and resilience of the people who work in the arts. There is an extent to which the very best come to the top and are very good at fundraising and are good in their relations with the arts council. But, there is a level of professionalism that everybody has to achieve, and I would actually think that Arts & Business does more than we all think in training. If you actually added up the money that they get from companies like Valero or whatever other members that they have in Wales, then you might not find that very impressive. But, in their training and encouragement of people to spread around the arts in Wales, I think that is very valuable, and the last thing I would do would be to abandon it.
I think I said earlier, when I mentioned fine art apprenticeships and education, that I think that the resilience programme needs to start at the beginning. People who study the arts and go on to go through the educational process—included in those programmes needs to be business skills and that sort of resilience, to understand how to be an entrepreneur or how to create a business and create a living from that as well. What has been discussed about the impact of Arts & Business on providing and connecting businesses with arts projects to provide legal and HR advice—they are kind of sticking plasters, I think. There needs to be something from the early stage, so that they understand that it's not just about putting paint to canvas or something like that, and that there is a bigger process out there as well—that they have to survive in the real world.
That should be from the educational establishments, I think—the universities and colleges.
If I could just ask a series of quick questions. We are running out of time. Obviously, Valero is an exemplary company in terms of understanding the importance of corporate social responsibility. Could you just tell us what proportion of staff at the Pembroke refinery volunteer in some capacity or another, as far as you're aware? Because they won't necessarily tell you.
Explicitly, it's probably about 10 per cent, I would say. Further than that, I wouldn't know. I know that we have volunteer programmes out in the community, which account for virtually every weekend of the year. So, there is a project all the time going on.
Do you give staff time off to go to school governing bodies' meetings or things like that?
Yes, that's part of it. Also, the staff on our volunteer council advertise their skill set out in the community. So, they might go out and help the schools to do engineering things, problem solving—and painting and that sort of thing. They step in and help projects out in the community. So, as I said, it's thousands of hours every year that we do.
Do you regard it as part of your staff's professional development to do this sort of thing?
Yes, but it's also part of the ethos of the refinery and the company as well. Again, because of the areas in which we live and work, we recognise that the communities there do not have the resources to fund those projects and have the resources to sustain those things. So, we are able to step in and do that. Most of the volunteering is really from an altruistic point of view, to be fair. Yes, it does develop them as people, et cetera. I would like to say there was a benign self-interest behind it, but in reality, it is altruistic.
Okay, thank you. Could you just say if the staff have any input into proposing projects for funding? Do the policy, government and public affairs department actively seek their views or encourage their input?
Yes, we do. Yes, we have input from staff. They will come to us with ideas about—
Because you won't know everybody in your community. So, staff can say, 'X, Y, Z project in my village needs some help with—'
Okay, great. Thank you very much indeed. It would be good if other large companies had the attitudes that you have.
Just going to G39, obviously you understand the importance of people who give up their time and that this in-kind contribution is just as important as money. Are you endeavouring to find people with fundraising, bid-writing skills? You obviously feel you need to—. You know, you're concerned about your dwindling reserves and therefore you could obviously do something about that.
Yes. We're actually recruiting additional trustees at the moment, and we're looking for a little bit more experience in both fundraising directly, but also in, shall we say, realising some of those untapped income streams—so, the kinds of things that I was talking about earlier. We're thinking about ways that we can better raise a little bit of cash. On the funding application side of things, it's an interesting proposal for us, because they take a huge amount of time and resource and actually the vast majority of funding applications that we make are accepted. They may not be accepted to the degree that we had hoped for initially, but they are generally accepted. My question that I always ask within the organisation is: 'Does this mean we should be making 10 times as many applications? Because if we're getting pretty much everything accepted as it is, then are we missing a trick here? But it's that time and energy that you need to input into those in the first instance. So, I think what we need is a little bit of help identifying some of those smaller opportunities, some of those smaller applications that actually aren't going to take three weeks to put together but then might yield a little bit of extra money that we could be more dynamic with.
Recently retired professionals are an obvious resource that could be tapped in to, who themselves would benefit mentally by doing things for the community. Could you just say a little bit more about the way in which the Welsh Government could be providing more incentives for business? You obviously give the example of Tesco's bag tax, which obviously is a tiny tax, but what other things could Welsh Government be doing, without it costing money, to provoke businesses to be a little bit more focused on this?
I think that forcing their hands a little—and I mean just a little—could go a very, very long way, because as soon as a business has to part with a little bit of cash to support external initiatives, they suddenly become tremendously interested in where that money's going and how to get the most out of it, frankly, in exactly the same ways that Stephen has just been discussing with us. So, I think that by forcing just the tiniest bit of corporate giving, I think then there could be a tremendous natural growth from there, in the same way that we have things like the bag tax currently, or even Per Cent for Art. I don't think those would exist without the required nature of them. But, currently, when I'm talking to businesses, particularly small ones, they're not saying to me, 'We've got bags of cash, how can we make ourselves look great?'; they're saying to me, 'We've got no money, and we need to try and survive'. So, I don't think that's going to happen voluntarily as standard; I think it's going to happen by exception in the same way that we have organisations like Valero that are more fundamentally built on those foundations.
Diolch yn fawr iawn i chi am ddod i mewn atom ni heddiw. Mae yna ychydig o feysydd nad ydym ni wedi cyffwrdd â nhw. Mi wnawn ni ysgrifennu atoch chi i chi gael rhoi sylwadau ysgrifenedig, os ydy hynny'n iawn. Diolch yn fawr iawn. Mi gymrwn ni doriad byr rŵan tan 11.30.
Thank you very much for joining us this morning. We do have a few areas that we haven't covered. We will write to you with those for your comments in writing, if that's all right. Thank you very much. We'll have a short break now until 11.30.
Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 11:24 a 11:37.
The meeting adjourned between 11:24 and 11:37.
Diolch yn fawr, a chroeso i'r rhan o'r pwyllgor lle byddwn ni'n trafod yr amgylchedd hanesyddol. Croeso i'r tystion. A gaf i ofyn i chi gyflwyno eich hunain?
Thank you very much, and welcome to this next part of the committee meeting where we'll be discussing the historic environment. Welcome to the witnesses. Can I ask you to introduce yourselves?
Hello. I'm Jane Lee. I'm a policy officer at the Welsh Local Government Association.
I'm Amy Longford. I'm the heritage manager at Monmouthshire County Council.
I'm Peter Thomas. I'm a senior planner, specialising in conservation and urban design, at the Vale of Glamorgan Council.
Sut ydych chi'n gweld Deddf yr Amgylchedd Hanesyddol (Cymru) 2016 yn gweithredu erbyn hyn?
How do you see the Historic Environment (Wales) Act 2016 operating by now?
It's probably a bit early on, to be honest, for local authorities to comment too much on the historic environment Act. Most of what has been enacted doesn't necessarily apply to local authorities. The principal exception, probably, is the listed building stop notice, which I understand my colleague Amy has used. I've not used one in anger yet, but perhaps Amy can tell you a bit more about that element.
Yes. We did serve a temporary stop notice, and I think in the situation that we had it, it was really helpful. One aspect of that was just trying to maybe work with applicants and get them to understand the legislation, slow them down, and get them really to engage with us at an earlier stage. So, that was really helpful. Some of the other parts of the Act, in terms of the way that we work on a day-to-day basis in terms of heritage management, don't directly apply or don't directly change our procedures and our policies, but one of the things we were discussing earlier is that the additional suite of documents in terms of the managing change documents has been really helpful, and they've actually increased the amount of guidance that we had before. For example, we've got guidance on managing change in registered gardens now, where that was never really featured in the legislation or in the circular before, so that's been really, really helpful. And, just as an aside, yesterday, I was writing an appeal statement and that's when you actively use these documents, and we were going through them and I've got to say that I did find the 'Managing Change to Listed Buildings in Wales' particularly helpful there, in just trying to back up the things that we were saying with actual policy. It was very good, I've got to say.
I would just echo Amy's point, really, that, on the back of the historic environment Act, we have seen this suite of guidance coming in and that has been welcomed across the board by all local authorities. There was a gap before and that's been filled, now, by Cadw and they've obviously worked very hard on that suite of documents.
Mae yna dystion, cyn heddiw, wedi sôn am yr angen am Fil cyd-grynhoi i ddod â'r ddeddfwriaeth i gyd at ei gilydd. A ydych chi'n meddwl bod hynny'n angenrheidiol?
Previous witnesses have talked about the need for a consolidation Bill to bring all of the legislation together. Do you think that that is required?
It's not necessarily required. The legislation is there. It would be easier to access, of course, if it was in a single document, compared to the at least three principal Acts that we're working with now. It's always the case, and I'm aware of the work by the Law Commission, who are looking at consolidating planning law across the spectrum, and there are many tens of Acts and huge numbers of statutory instruments underneath those. So, it can be overwhelming, just trying to find where the relevant piece is and trying to understand whether something has been redacted, and so on. So, that can be confusing. So, yes, if it were codified into a single Act with limited secondary legislation below it—limited in the sense of the number of documents, rather than the scope—that would, undoubtedly, be useful.
The flip side of that, of course, is the amount of time and the resources that that would take for yourselves and for consultees across the board. We've recently come off the back of a huge consultation programme of several years in the build-up to the historic environment Act; I can only imagine the scope, then, of consolidating the existing legislation into a single Act, based on our experience of that.
A'r cytundebau partneriaeth treftadaeth: a ydych chi'n meddwl bod y rhain yn mynd i fod yn ddefnyddiol?
And the heritage partnership agreements: do you believe that these will be useful?
Yes, I do. I think they're going to be very interesting. The fact is that we've actually had a couple of our large land owners in Monmouthshire come forward and say, 'Can we have a pilot scheme with Cadw, because we think this will be really, really helpful for us to manage our buildings more effectively and financially better?' It would allow them to programme their works, allow them to build relationships with builders and with the local authority, and make everything more streamlined, so we're really looking forward to that.
Mae hwn yn faes sydd wedi gweld cyfyngiadau mewn adnoddau, wrth gwrs, wrth i'r agenda llymder ddigwydd. A ydy hwnnw'n her arbennig i chi yn yr awdurdodau lleol?
This is an area that has seen resource constraints, of course, as the austerity agenda has progressed. Is this a particular challenge for you in the local authorities?
I think we'd always welcome more resources—
I'm probably the thousandth voice to say that. In the Vale of Glamorgan's case, when I joined the Vale of Glamorgan in 2006, including me, there were three conservation officers doing the work. Now, there's currently me, and the amount of work hasn't decreased; indeed, the historic environment is growing in scope as buildings are added to the list, and so on. So, yes, it's very acutely felt. The tools we got through the legislation are quite strong, it's fair to say. Equally, it's fair to say that local authorities have been reticent to use them, often, principally because of resource concerns.
Beth am hyfforddiant yn y maes, wedyn? A oes angen mwy o hyfforddiant yn sgil y Ddeddf newydd?
What about training in this particular area? Is there a need for more training as a result of the new Act?
Not necessarily as a result of the new Act. There's just a need to make building owners, architects, agents, surveyors, engineers—the list goes on—colleagues in local authorities as well, aware of what is important about the historic environment, but then also nuances that have perhaps come through, not necessarily through the Act, but through policy documents—so, Cadw's 'Conservation Principles' is an excellent example. They've adopted the idea of significance being the important thing to look at, and I wholeheartedly agree with that, by identifying values, then. There are a number of people who perhaps don't understand what is significant about a listed building, so, a building's listed in its entirety, but the extension that was built in the 1990s is going to be an awful lot less significant than the fifteenth century original fabric, for example. I think as conservation professionals we understand that now, but there are a huge number of lay people who don't necessarily understand those nuanced differences between how we've treated listed buildings in the past and how we do now.
If I could just add to that as well, I think the change from circular 61/96 to TAN 24 and now the 'Managing Change to Listed Buildings in Wales' document really changes the emphasis from the avoidance of harm to listed buildings to positive management and enhancement of listed buildings. I think it's just trying to look at things from that angle, and this is a really good opportunity for us to increase the level of training for us as professionals, but also architects and agents, and take this opportunity, while there is this new guidance, to look back at some of the ways of working and see how they fit properly with this new guidance and this new emphasis on managing change, not necessarily saying 'no' to everything.
Jest i droi at orfodaeth, faint o gamau gorfodi sy'n cael eu cymryd ar hyd Cymru? A ydy o'n cael ei wasgaru yn gyfartal? A oes rhai awdurdodau lleol yn gwneud llawer mwy o orfodaeth na rhai eraill?
Just turning to enforcement, how many enforcement actions have been taken across Wales? Is it evenly spread? Are some local authorities undertaking much more enforcement action than others?
I would say, from my perspective, some authorities are taking more action than others. I think some authorities have more confidence in the legislation; they have more experience, and therefore they're more able to take action. Some have more resources than others. From my point of view in Monmouthshire, we have served and recently completed on a compulsory purchase order, towards the end of last year, which took eight years of work and a repairs notice and a CPO to rescue a building, and we've transferred that on a back-to-back agreement with the Building Preservation Trust. So, that's taken an awful lot of time as well as financial commitment from the local authority and from Cadw to be able to build that package together. On a personal level, I've learned a huge amount through that process. But that's not something you would do regularly, so those skills probably aren't everywhere in Wales and within their local authorities.
I think it is, yes. I think it does impact on whether a local authority will be able to take action, because getting the advice and the legal information they're going to need in order to make sure that process is correct is another cost, and if you've got that skill in-house, then obviously there's more confidence in going forward.
And in terms of public perception as well, if people aren't seeing enforcement happening, it creates a problem.
In Monmouthshire we've got—I manage the team, and we've got a heritage officer who deals with applications, but we've also got a dedicated heritage monitoring officer. So, her role is to go out and monitor the work that's actually being carried out on site after us granting consent, ensuring the conditions are discharged and all the work's been carried out appropriately. As far as I'm aware, that's the only post like that in Wales. So, we're really lucky to have that, but I would say that that's a really vital part of our process, because if we don't follow the rules and regulations, why do we have them? What's the point of them, really? So, I think that's been really helpful.
I think it's fair to say the enforcement activity varies across Wales, depending on resources, also depending on the view of the legal teams in different authorities in terms of taking the risk. If you're committed to enforcement, it's often a long-term process, so the local authorities need to feel confident in terms of taking that action. I think that probably a number of civic community groups and lay people would probably feel that local authorities should perhaps be taking more enforcement, but often they don't perhaps understand the issues behind the scenes as to why that's not taking place.
If I could just add to that, you mentioned public perception, and I listened to some of the evidence given to this committee prior to today, and noticed that there was a suggestion that local authorities are jumping straight to prosecution and straight to enforcement rather than engaging. Clearly, I can't speak for all authorities—I appreciate I'm here for the WLGA, but my experience is limited to the Vale of Glamorgan—but that's not the approach that we have, and it's not the approach I think that my colleagues across south-east Wales have either. It's where these things are publicised; is it an opportunity for planners-bashing again, rather than seeing that these are isolated cases, because the vast majority of listed buildings owners are responsible? But where there are the irresponsible owners—the ones that simply won't do anything for their buildings—we do have a quite formidable array of tools in the legislation to use, but they are used very, very sparingly. So, perception maybe is a double-edged sword.
I'd also like to just pick up on the issue of training—going back to that, but it's relevant here as well. The enforcement of listed buildings can be very, very small minutae—very small details on a building that are part of its significance and need to be enforced—but it can also extend then to the buildings that are most at risk of being lost. You're doubtless aware of Denbigh hospital as probably the biggest example in Wales, and certainly the most publicised. I think we're all watching that with—. We're all watching it, certainly, just to see how it goes because there are buildings in every authority area that are in a similar condition, and several authorities I'm aware of are considering serving similar notices, going down a compulsory purchase route, which is not done on a whim; it's where every opportunity has been thoroughly examined and discounted. But I think there are opportunities to learn from Denbighshire County Council, the positives and the negatives, and to try to collaborate in that sense, to not necessarily look at a best practice way of doing things—it's an isolated case—but clearly there are pitfalls that might be avoided going forward and there are benefits that have arisen from this scheme that could well be shared with other local authorities.
Diolch. Fe ddof â Suzy i mewn rŵan.
Thank you. I'll bring Suzy in now.
Diolch yn fawr. You anticipated some of my questions, but I just wanted to ask you quickly on the guidance. Being as that's now so sumptuous and full, does that mean that any of your discretion is being removed, any space that you used to have before for deciding whether to proceed with something or not? There's no built-in impetus to actually do something proactive.
I don't think that. I think the flip side is that it's actually really enhanced our opportunity to delegate and to have that consideration. Circular 61/96 was a little bit more prescriptive, and initially when we lost that I was quite worried that we wouldn't have that clear prescriptive policy background to rely on but, as I say, when I was writing this appeal statement yesterday, it's actually quite the opposite. The 'Managing Change to Listed Buildings in Wales' documents give us quite a wide scope. They set out the parameters and in line with the conservation principles, that's now been brought into the forefront. There's still an element of subjectivity, but it allows us to make more considered decisions, I think.
Is it in your experience—I'll come to the other two of you in a second—that you're already getting a sense that this managing change rather than avoiding harm is cheaper?
Cheaper as in financially cheaper, do you mean?
I appreciate that not all councils have even got capacity for the kind of work that you do, but as you've got it, are you finding that finances, tiny as they are, are easier to manage because you've got control over the process of managing, rather than just coming in and solving an emergency at the end? Or is it too early to tell?
It's probably too early to tell, I think, yes.
I think you've actually covered the question of how well spread enforcement is or, in fact, using the Act at all, and you've explained, Jane Lee, that, actually, resources are preventing an awful lot of activity that could take place. Are there particular areas where you think that some energy does need to be put in? We've had suggestions from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, for example, that maritime heritage gets overlooked. Not all of you have seaboards—but you do. Is it something that you think you need to take some proactive action on or is it a case of waiting until somebody spots there's a problem? Because it's quite hard to spot maritime heritage in the first place.
I think that's key. I suppose if you create a matrix of statutory and non-statutory work and essential and non-essential work, we clearly concentrate on statutory essential work—so, dealing with applications for listed building consent, planning permission and so on. The things on the outer edges then—locally listed buildings; I'd probably put maritime heritage in that is well. We've probably all got a wish list of things we want to do as long as our arms, and it's prioritising those is key—
Sorry to cut across, but the argument then for a sort of systematic listing and scheduling programme—is it a bit pointless trying to make it because, actually, the resources and the capacity aren't there anyway?
Well, the scheduling and listing of buildings is dealt with by Cadw rather than the local authority. We will receive—
Of course. Monuments are pretty much removed from the local authority. Cadw deal with all applications for consent to deal with those. If Cadw list a building in the authority area, we take that on board and that's added to the list. If an application comes in or an applicant wants guidance, then we will provide that, of course, but whether there should be a systematic study of those across Wales is probably not for the local authorities to answer, to be honest. It's a resource issue for Cadw rather than ourselves.
Well, I am asking you because Cadw's already made it plain that they're reducing grants for buildings of that nature and concentrating on a particular portfolio. Whether that's good or bad, that's what's happening. You may end up with a situation where buildings are delisted because it's kind of convenient, I suppose, and those buildings will end up back in your purview then. Is that a genuine concern or—?
On the delisting of buildings, certainly two of us from south-east Wales have raised the question about, 'Are we debasing the coinage with the number of listed buildings?' because of one or two particular examples that, perhaps in our opinion, maybe don't meet the criteria. Clearly, there are some people who think that might be turkeys voting for Christmas as well by suggesting that, but Cadw's criteria for listing buildings is fairly clear, and if we felt strongly that a building absolutely didn't meet those then we would approach Cadw directly to say, 'Does this building really meet your criteria?' I think that would be true again—. If new buildings come forward and they do meet their criteria, then we would accept that.
Any views on that? Maritime heritage is perhaps not so significant for you.
Yes, not so much for us, but, in terms of listed buildings, I think delisting can have a positive or negative effect. I think we need to be clear, if and when we are going to delist a building, that there are reasons why that has happened. Obviously, when it was listed, it was felt that that it met the criteria, so what has happened in the meantime for it to no longer meet those criteria? Is it because the building has, unfortunately, suffered a fire and there's very little left of it? That would be one argument for delisting that I think would be more than sensible. But if a building has been so heavily altered by unauthorised work, it is more appropriate for us to take enforcement action to try and restore that rather than delisting. But I do think that there is scope—there are some buildings, especially on our list, that probably don't belong there, so maybe a review or just an opportunity for us to be able to say, 'This isn't really appropriate; it shouldn't be on the list' could be an option.
And is that a decision that's made locally, then, rather than at Cadw level? I genuinely don't know.
If we do feel that they're not appropriate to be on the list, we can say, 'We think this building should be delisted'. Any owner of any building can ask the same request of Cadw and they will consider it, but I suppose that, if Cadw are going to look at delisting, it probably needs to be in a wider, considered all-Wales approach, rather than individually.
Okay, thank you. And then, just finally on buildings themselves that are your responsibility, we've had some evidence from the Country Land and Business Association that there are some buildings that are in the ownership of private individuals that could be rescued and put to alternative uses, provided councils were prepared to act. Are we back to that original answer that the reason that doesn't happen is money and capacity? Is that pretty much it, or is there something more complicated going on?
Also, I think some of it is looking for those sustainable, long-term uses for some of the—
I think it's quite easy to say, 'Yes, we need to look at new uses', but just the sheer level of some of our buildings that are disused, redundant, their original uses don't exist any more, the sheer number of them in some of our communities—it's very difficult to see what those sustainable uses will be. I think local authorities are looking at some of these buildings in a very innovative way, and they are trying to be proactive and look at some of these uses to sustain these buildings long term, but it is a difficult nut to crack, to be perfectly honest.
Is this where the heritage partnership agreements could be very valuable, then, where, actually, you're working with the owners rather than taking a big stick to them?
They're slightly different things. The owners likely to enter into heritage partnership agreements are—
Well, it has to be voluntarily; it's a tri-party agreement between—
You can see where I'm coming from. It's actually worth while local authorities really persuading owners to come into these agreements, because then they are sharing the burden of it.
It is, with caveats. They're geared towards certain types of works. The obvious example, I think, would be use on canals, where there are hundreds of bridges that need repointing, for example. So, rather than making hundreds of applications for consent, there can be a single—
—agreement, and everything is agreed up front, and then it can just carry on.
If a building is in such disrepair that it's at risk, the owner is unlikely to be entering into a heritage partnership agreement is my gut feeling.
They'd rather let it fall down.
Okay. Maybe I can have just a supplementary on that, then. One of the accusations in the past is that local authorities—and I'm being very general with this statement—will tend to pick the low-hanging fruit: people who have made small mistakes and are easy to find and easy to—it's easier to put right the mistakes that they've made. Is that a statement you recognise, or is it the case that it's just money and resources again that make it difficult to go after the big errors?
I would suggest it's probably both of those.
Yes. With limited resource, it is easier to go after smaller cases than much larger cases. That's an undeniable fact.
Having said that, if the default position is to take no action because you can't do everything, then I think that's a very poor position to be in as well. The reality is that we are probably not aware of every issue on every local building across the authority area anyway.
So, it's very much reactionary—enforcement is very much reactionary. Things like the compulsory purchase of buildings are a proactive approach, of course, and the resource implications for either of those routes are markedly different.
Sorry, can I just—? On that, obviously, we listened to the evidence from the Country Land and Business Association, where they were inferring that local authorities would go for the easy options rather than tackling difficult cases, and we certainly—. That's not a situation that we recognise. As I said before, local authorities will—. There are a number of considerations before taking enforcement action, and it's not something that we recognise at all that we would, you know—
—go for those easy options.
If I can perhaps clarify—
No, no. If I can clarify my comments, though, an enforcement case where, let's say for example, a window has been replaced without consent, is hugely different to the compulsory purchase of a building that's been in disrepair for 30 years—just in the number of officer hours to deal with one, it could be, maybe, in double digits; you're talking several years to try and compulsorily purchase. So, in very real terms, smaller cases are easier to deal with than big cases.
Can I just go back to the point you were making about trying to find alternative uses for buildings? I don't think the listing should include any use for the building. Obviously, the original use for that building is probably the most appropriate, but, for example, we've got a large country house that has 50-odd rooms. It's highly unlikely that someone is now going to want to live in that as their single residence, so we need to look at lots of other options—a school, apartments, a hospital. It could be anything. It shouldn't be that the listing should preclude anything, and I think the 'Managing Change' documents now, and the emphasis on positive enhancement, really give us an opportunity to change the perception of listing, to allow us to engage with people at the very early stages and saying, 'What is it that you are looking to achieve? Because we're trying to save the building as well. Let's work together', and how can we find a successful outcome economically for the building. So, I don't think it should be—. I think it's the perception—it's a big problem that we have a responsibility to try and change as well.
Also—. Sorry, if I may add to that and pick up on the CLA's evidence again, they talked about local authorities not being interested in discussing the issues but going straight to enforcement. If we come back to simple resources, it's so much easier for me to have a discussion before any works are done than to take enforcement action. So, on a personal level, that's the approach I take, and I'm pretty confident that's the approach shared across authorities.
Well, this Act might facilitate that a bit more as well. Sorry, I did have one more question. You may not be able to answer this, so that'll be quick. The stop notice—you're one of the few who's managed to do this. Can you give us a rough idea how much that process cost?
In this instance, actually, it probably didn't cost a lot at all. We drew—I say 'we'; my team drew—the stop notice up, and we have a template, it's very similar to our planning temporary stop notice, so we used that template, added the criteria in, and I personally went down with my colleague and served it. So, it probably took us about half a day.
Okay, that's just helpful to give us a sense of scale, because you've only got small budgets. Okay, thank you.
Cyn i fi ddod â Jenny Rathbone i fewn, un cwestiwn ynglŷn ag arolwg Cadw o dreftadaeth mewn perig: beth ydy effaith peidio â chyhoeddi hwn ar eich gwaith chi?
Before I bring Jenny Rathbone in, one question with regard to the Cadw survey of endangered heritage: what's the effect of not publishing this on your work?
The buildings at risk database, or the information that has been collated periodically, every five years, has been really, really, really helpful. It's really been able to give us an indication of where buildings are, their deterioration or their improvement, and the statistics that have come out of that have been really good in terms of being able to sell to our members the positive action that we've been taking. So, there's a real positive emphasis there.
Whether it should be public or not—. I've got quite a few owners individually who don't want this information public because they're worried about their buildings—if they have a vulnerable building, it being targeted for arson or for further damage, or for architectural items being stolen. So, there's that element that owners of buildings in my area are particularly concerned about. I think advertising or providing the baseline information—or headline figures, I should say—would be beneficial and I don't see a problem with that, but I think we need to be careful about the personal data that's released.
Thank you. I appreciate that you've got restricted resources, so collaboration seems to me essential, but the public expects us collectively to safeguard our historic buildings, because otherwise they're gone forever. Unfortunately, Cardiff has huge examples of historic buildings that have been bulldozed, and they are now gone. So, you mention positive examples of local authorities undertaking proactive work and developing buildings-at-risk strategies. Is that on your own or in collaboration with other organisations?
As you say, the examples that I was referring to—there was particular work done in some local authorities, and that has been led by the local authority, but they have worked in collaboration, obviously, with some of the owners of those buildings at risk, as well as some of the interested stakeholder groups as well.
Okay. Mr Thomas, you're a single operator in the conservation department—how much is this work also deemed to be part of the work of the planning department in setting good standards for conservation and maintenance?
I sit within the planning department. Other authorities are set up differently, but I'm fortunate in that the key actors within my authority are quite receptive to the historic environment and they see it as a positive, and that goes for my members as well. In terms of collaboration, it's a bit of a catch-22, because my workload exceeds the amount of time I have in a working day, so there is no slack there for me to dedicate it to assisting on a collaborative basis, necessarily.
If we use buildings at risk as a particular example, the survey cycle is done quinquennially—every five years—by a single company who do a pan-Wales survey, which is great in terms of consistency and so on. It's like for like. The problem might be that my survey was completed at the end of last year. The neighbouring authorities, for example, might have it done two years prior to that, or their next one's due next year. So, we're all coming at these at maybe different times, and perhaps again it's that case of prioritising as well. So, I might, for example, put buildings at risk as quite a high priority within the authority. Other authorities won't prioritise it as highly, or even more highly.
So, it's difficult to know which authorities are going to be dealing with which issues at any one time. To give you an example, though, some authorities are coming to review their LDPs now, and we've been looking, in the south-east Wales area at least, at collating all our policies and supporting texts and so on, and SPGs, just to see whether there are common threads running through them, and the reality is that, yes, there are common threads there. So, it's possible that, in the evidence base for revised local development plans, that there is scope for collaboration based on the—
Obviously, the north Wales planning authorities have come together to pool their heritage services. Are you inspired by their example or is it too early to judge?
There was a consultation paper, prepared by Hyder and Cadw, on various models for delivery of the historic environment, from status quo to mirroring the archeological trusts. So, for Amy and me, that would be a single historic environment planning authority, I suppose, for the entirety of Glamorgan and Gwent. So, it was looked at at that stage. I think the responses gathered across Wales, from memory, were the status quo—that is, you know, heritage services delivered per local authority with increased collaboration.
But if there's only one of you, that doesn't seem to be very sustainable.
Perhaps I can comment a little bit more on what's happening in north Wales. The north Wales local planning authorities and conservation officers have come together and they've looked at those areas of work where they can collaborate. So, they haven't brought all services together. There's not one heritage service that services the whole of the north Wales authorities, but they have looked at where they can come together. So, they're looking at, perhaps, joint enforcement activity, joint harmonisation of policies, looking at working with agents and applicants in terms of improving the listed building consent application process. So, that's less work downstream for conservation officers, if, obviously, they're receiving a higher quality application. They're also looking at aspects around charging and getting some money flowing around the system and things. So, there's a number of work streams that they're actively taking forward now, but, picking up what Peter was saying, those work streams are being taken forward by different local authority officers on top of their current day job. So, good progress is being made, but, as I said, it's a slow process, but it's certainly a good step in the right direction.
Okay. Obviously, it's really important to be collaborating with the private sector as well, particularly where they own the buildings. We have a joint interest in ensuring those buildings are maintained and revived. So, do you think this townscape heritage initiative is a model that could be rolled out in other parts of Wales?