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Pwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu

Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee

02/05/2019

Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol

Committee Members in Attendance

Bethan Jenkins AM Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor
Committee Chair
David Melding AM
Delyth Jewell AM
Mick Antoniw AM
Vikki Howells AM

Y rhai eraill a oedd yn bresennol

Others in Attendance

Diane Hebb Cyfarwyddwr Ymgysylltu a Chyfranogi, Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru
Director of Engagement and Participation, Arts Council of Wales
Dr Eva Elliott Cymrawd Ymchwil Mygedol, Ysgol y Gwyddorau Cymdeithasol, Prifysgol Caerdydd
Honorary Research Fellow, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University
Professor Morag McDermont Athro Astudiaethau Cymdeithasol-Gyfreithiol, Ysgol y Gyfraith Prifysgol Bryste
Professor of Socio-Legal Studies, University of Bristol Law School
Richard Bellamy Cyfarwyddwr Cymru, Cronfa Dreftadaeth y Loteri
Director for Wales, Heritage Lottery Fund

Swyddogion Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru a oedd yn bresennol

National Assembly for Wales Officials in Attendance

Lowri Jones Dirprwy Glerc
Deputy Clerk
Martha Da Gama Howells Ail Glerc
Second Clerk

Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle 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.

Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:32.

The meeting began at 09:32.

1. Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau
1. Introductions, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest

Diolch a chroeso i Bwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu y bore yma. I gychwyn, mae eitem 1, sef cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau. Dŷn ni wedi cael ymddiheuriadau gan Caroline Jones, gan Rhianon Passmore a gan Jayne Bryant, ac mae Mick Antoniw wedi dweud wrthym ni ei fod e'n rhedeg yn hwyr, yn anffodus. A oes gan unrhyw un rywbeth i'w ddatgan yma heddiw? Na. 

Good morning and welcome to the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee. Item 1 first, which is introductions, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest. We've received apologies from Caroline Jones, Rhianon Passmore and Jayne Bryant, and Mick Antoniw has informed us that he is running late, unfortunately. Does anyone have any declarations of interest? No. 

2. Minnau hefyd! - Ymchwiliad i rôl y celfyddydau a diwylliant wrth fynd i'r afael â thlodi ac allgáu cymdeithasol: Cyllid cyhoeddus
2. Count me in! - Inquiry into the role of arts and culture in addressing poverty and social exclusion: Public funding

Symudwn ymlaen, felly, yn gyflym i eitem 2: Minnau hefyd! Ymchwiliad i rôl y celfyddydau a diwylliant wrth fynd i'r afael â thlodi ac allgáu cymdeithasol. Dŷn ni'n trafod cyllid cyhoeddus yma heddiw, a chroeso i Diane Hebb, sef cyfarwyddwr ymgysylltu a chyfranogi, Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru, a hefyd i Richard Bellamy, cyfarwyddwr Cronfa Dreftadaeth y Loteri. Diolch ichi am dreulio amser gyda ni y bore yma. 

Dwi ddim yn siŵr os ydych chi'n deall sut rŷm ni'n gweithredu fel pwyllgor ond, fel arfer, dŷn ni'n gofyn cwestiynau ar sail themau gwahanol ac felly, os yw hynny'n iawn, byddwn ni'n gofyn i Aelodau Cynulliad ofyn cwestiynau. Os gwnaf i gychwyn, felly. Roeddwn i eisiau gofyn sut ydych chi'n ymgysylltu â phobl sydd wedi cael eu hallgáu yn gymdeithasol, wrth ystyried yn benodol dyraniadau cyllid i sefydliadau diwylliannol. Felly, pan fyddwch chi'n rhoi'r arian hwnnw i sefydliadau, ym mha ffordd ydych chi'n cymryd hyn i ystyriaeth, naill ai yn eich llythyrau briff i'r sefydliadau hynny neu yn eich trafodaethau gyda'r sefydliadau hynny? Diolch yn fawr iawn. 

We'll move on, therefore, swiftly to item 2: Count me in! Inquiry into the role of arts and culture in addressing poverty and social exclusion. We're looking at public funding this morning. A very warm welcome to Diane Hebb, director of engagement and participation at the Arts Council of Wales, and Richard Bellamy, director of the Heritage Lottery Fund. Thank you for very much for joining us this morning. 

I don't know if you understand how we work as a committee, but usually we move immediately to questions based on different themes. So, if that's okay with you, we will ask Assembly Members to question you in that manner. If I could start, then. I wanted to ask how you engage with people in poverty and social exclusion, and considering specifically funding allocations to cultural organisations. So, when you do provide that funding to organisations and bodies, how do you assess poverty and social exclusion, either in your briefing letters to those organisations or in your discussions with them? Thank you. 

Shall I go first? We have, I think as committee are aware, a portfolio of funded organisations. We have 67 organisations in the portfolio. We enter into funding agreements with those organisations every year. So we review what they've been delivering and we have conversations about what they might be delivering in the following year. As part of those funding agreements, we specifically ask questions about targeted programmes, and one of those questions is about how they're targeting disadvantaged communities. So, we expect, through the funding agreements, for those organisations to be delivering on that agenda. Now, what they're actually doing is varied, so we have organisations that are specifically funded to do that kind of work—our community arts organisations. We have other organisations that are delivering specific projects and programmes, but quite often, they come to us for additional funding to do that, so it's not necessarily central to what they are being funded to do through the funding agreement. I can talk a bit later about what we are talking about in terms of how we might address that.

We also have our lottery schemes programme, again, as Members will be aware. We also ask questions in the application forms about targeting work, particularly when we get applications through our Taking Part. So, when delivering participatory work, we ask specific questions about who they're targeting and where that work is happening, and that kind of work is given a higher priority in terms of making decisions about where the funding goes.

So, through funding allocations, those are the two main streams. On top of that, of course, we develop and deliver specific targeted programmes, which I can talk about a bit more.

09:35

Diolch. Jest ateb cychwynnol oedd angen ar hynny. Bydd pobl yn gofyn mwy o gwestiynau mewn dyfnder. Richard.

Thank you. I was just looking for an initial response in that regard. We will be going into more detail as we proceed. Richard.

Thank you. We're slightly different from the arts council in that all our funding is distributed through open programmes and we allow communities and organisations to identify what they consider their heritage and their culture and to come up with projects that will address and encourage people to become involved in heritage, celebrate the heritage and make it available to as wide a community as possible.

In terms of how we focus that on areas of deprivation, we take an outcomes-based approach in terms of our assessment. One of those is that a wider range of people are involved in heritage, and we advise and encourage potential applicants and cultural organisations to use as wide a definition of that as possible and to think about how they can involve people who, maybe, aren't traditionally involved in heritage and culture in terms of the projects that they do. We also look at potentially geographical areas. We used to call them priority development areas and we selected them partly on the basis of indices of deprivation and partly on the heritage fund's own historical under-investment. Going forward, we're starting a new strategic framework and we're now calling those 'areas of focus'. I can go into detail later about where those actually are across Wales.

Jest un cwestiwn clou gen i, sydd efallai’n fwy penodol i’r cyngor celfyddydau. Rwy’n parchu eich bod chi’n mynd i fynd mewn i fwy o fanylder ynglŷn â beth yn gwmws dŷch chi’n ei ariannu a pham, ond a allech chi jest roi rhyw fath o syniad i ni os oes gennych chi criteria gwahanol i wahanol grwpiau? Er enghraifft, os oedd y grŵp hwnnw’n un mawr, a fyddech chi’n disgwyl mwy ganddyn nhw o ran gwneud mwy gyda chymunedau sydd yn anodd mynd atyn nhw?

Just one further question from me, which is perhaps more specifically to the arts council. I respect the fact that you will be going into more detail as to what exactly you're funding and why, but could you just give us some sort of idea if you have different criteria for different groups? For example, if that were a particularly large group, would you expect more from them in terms of doing more with communities that are difficult to access?

If it was one of our larger organisations?

Os oedd e'n un o'r mudiadau mwy, oes gennych chi criteria gwahanol i'r rhai mwy a fyddai efallai'n gallu fforddio gwneud mwy, lle bod criteria gwahanol i fudiad neu grŵp llai na fyddai'n bosib iddyn nhw fynd i bob rhan o Gymru i drafod neu weithredu gyda phobl mewn tlodi?

If it was a larger organisation, do you have different criteria for those larger organisations that can afford to do more, where you would have perhaps different criteria for a smaller group that perhaps couldn't access every part of Wales to discuss or to work with people in poverty?

At the moment, no, we don't.

Oes yna gynlluniau i newid hynny neu i addasu'r hyn dŷch chi'n ei wneud?

Do you have any plans to change that or to adapt the way you work?

Yes. [Laughter.] Absolutely. I can talk a bit more about that now if you want me to.

Yes, okay. Tackling poverty and deprivation is one of our criteria. What we're seeing through the data and the monitoring that we do and the research that we do is that in spite of that, and in spite of the specific development programmes that we've been delivering—which I will talk a bit more about—we're not seeing that shift that we want to see as a council. So, our data is still telling us that people who experience material deprivation are considerably less likely to engage in the arts, either as audiences or participants.

So, our council has had a lot of discussion and deliberation around this, and Members may be aware that we published our new corporate plan towards the end of last year, with two key priorities. One of those priorities is absolutely about addressing this agenda. So, we are now on a journey. The corporate plan is for the benefit of all. The key objective is about making equalities absolutely central, from this point on, to everything we do. So, as a council, we are now on a journey about what does that mean, because it really is a shift in terms of moving from asking organisations to make this central to their work to us saying that this will be central to everything that we do. So, everything that we assess will be assessed on the basis of what difference we are making in terms of our equalities agenda, and when we talk about equalities we're talking about deprivation as well. So, we are on that journey.

We have just concluded a lottery consultation. We have been analysing the results of that. We have flagged new ways of working, putting that agenda central to the lottery funding in the future, and we have had very positive responses to that. So, our next steps as a council will be to start to develop a lottery programme that really helps us drive that agenda forward. And we have also flagged with our portfolio that we will be moving into an investment review towards the end of this year, so we will be looking at the organisations currently in our portfolio, and sending very clear messages there, as well, that this is going to be central to how we move forward with the arts in Wales.

09:40

Yn symud ymlaen at gymryd rhan mewn cynhyrchu celfyddyd a diwylliant, mae Vikki Howells yn mynd i arwain ar hyn. Diolch.

Moving on to participation in the production of arts and culture, Vikki Howells has some questions.

Diolch, Chair. In order to drive that agenda forward, as you've explained there, Diane, surely you need to have an understanding of the barriers that people who are facing poverty or social exclusion are facing when they want to participate, particularly, I'm thinking, in the production of arts and culture rather than just attending those events. Have you looked into those kinds of barriers. What were your feelings around that?

Again, through our monitoring and research, barriers that are familiar to everybody, I'm sure, come forward: cost, not interested, health not good enough to participate, and time. So, they're the kind of standard ones that come through all of our monitoring. But I think we've learnt through our targeted programmes and particularly the Ideas: People: Places programme, our Night Out programme that we've been delivering for a number of years, and the kind of engagement with communities that has happened through those programmes that we are now learning from, and it isn't a case of 'What can we offer?', it's a case of really working with those communities, giving voice to those communities—the cultural democracy approach—so that we're really hearing from those communities what it is that they want to engage in, and that, again, is going to shift and change what it is that we might be supporting. So, we're absolutely recognising that what this calls for is a very different approach.

Well, referring to the actual organisations themselves, which I think you're also interested in, it's about the capacity of those organisations, and I think that we recognise right across Wales, but particularly in communities that are experiencing economic and social challenges, that actually the capacity of organisations to make an application can be a barrier. Even if they are successful and get over the line and actually get funded, the practicalities of delivering a project and what that all means in terms of the additional strain it may put on an organisation, over and above the regular service delivery, can be daunting, and can actually be detrimental to an organisation, when they feel very happy about getting the money, but, actually, the reality of actually delivering a project can be quite—I should say, going back—daunting for an organisation. And I think that we recognise that we need to be thinking about how we put capacity into those organisations. How do we help them? How do we raise their aspirations and actually put in place some basic building blocks so that they understand about project delivery and that, at the end of a particular project funded by the lottery, the organisations are in a stronger place than when they started and they're in a better place to move forward than when they started? And I think that's something, as lottery distributors, we've learned over the last 25 years.

09:45

Thank you. When considering how people facing poverty and social exclusion can access employment or better employment, some critics would say that arts and culture is merely an add-on there, that it hasn't got much value in progressing those things and it's something that funding should perhaps come last for, because it's just about people enjoying themselves. What would you say in answer to critics like that, both of you?

I would say they're wrong, but I would say that, wouldn't I? [Laughter.] But, no, I think we have evidence from projects and programmes that we've been supporting and delivering that that's not the case. But there's a spectrum, I think. You can start with providing opportunities, through our Night Out scheme, for example, to participate, to engage in performances, going to performances as an audience. That's an enrichment experience for people, and people who do not access that, I think, are losing out. So, there is something in terms of those experiences being an important part of the journey. But real, engaged, creative practice is what makes a difference to people on that journey.

We do have cases and case studies that we could refer to where people have been involved in some of those projects and programmes who have then gone on to—either back into education or on to further training, volunteering or into employment. I think they're few and far between, and I don't think that's what engagement in the arts is fundamentally about. I think it's about changing aspiration. It's about all of those kinds of skills of confidence, social skills, creative skills. It's about that and those being an important part of the journey towards potential employment, volunteering and that. That's what we're seeing. Were not very good—. I know evaluation is one of the big questions, and is probably one of the questions that you're going to be asking, but that is something that we need to get better at. But, clearly, through the programmes—and Ideas: People: Places is one of those and the Night Out scheme is one of those, other projects that some of the organisations we fund have been delivering—it's those skills of confidence, enrichment, collaboration, organising, decision making, which come with everyday creativity, that make a difference as part of a journey towards—.

But it's so difficult to measure in a spreadsheet, isn't it?

It is. We could. I think we could, but it's difficult—. It doesn't provide the very simple, straightforward answer of, 'By participating in this, they got a job', or 'Their circumstances changed dramatically', but it is an important part of that journey.

I've worked for the Heritage Lottery Fund for a considerable period of time, over 15 years now, and it's been a constant battle to say that culture and heritage is not a luxury. It's a basic about who we are, where we come from, what makes us, what makes our communities, it's about identity. I think participating in all sorts of levels of projects that we fund, as Diane says, is about providing confidence, pride and even ambition in the community. And participants can just gain from that just by taking part, but actually also, in some parts of our projects, they learn practical skills, which increase their chances of employment. And, in many cases, it's just about life skills. In some of our projects—the Cadw Hidden Heritage project is working with some very challenging young people and actually providing those life skills, which are allowing them to make that next step on to actually gaining practical qualifications that will put them into employment. I think that is clearly demonstrable by some of the work they've already done—and they're only in year 1 of that three-year project.

09:50

Mae hynny'n dilyn ymlaen yn eithaf neis i gwestiwn Delyth ynglŷn â gweithio gyda mudiadau cenedlaethol, felly Delyth Jewell.

That follows on quite nicely to Delyth's question on working with national organisations, so Delyth Jewell.

Yes, exactly. Could you please give us some insight into whether you've worked with Welsh Government-sponsored bodies, like National Museum Wales and how that experience has been for you if you have?

We do. We are part of the Fusion programme, so we're one of the partners and we're part of the steering group, so we work with the other organisations as part of Fusion. We work with them on projects as well. We have regular meetings so that we're keeping in touch with who's doing what and where, and learning from each other. So, yes.

Is there anything in particular—apart from the obvious in terms of the size and more capacity that they would have, is there anything in particular where you think either that the experience you have of working with those bodies is different from others that we might not expect, whether bad or good? That's probably a bit of a strange question. Other than the fact that they will have more capacity, do you think that there are certain things that small organisations could learn from them in terms of their interaction with you or indeed maybe the opposite—that they're missing a trick in some way? If not, then that's perfectly fine.

I'm not quite sure how to answer the question, because we are obviously partner organisations: the museum, us, libraries et cetera. And organisations that we fund work with local museums. Head for Arts, a community arts organisation in Caerphilly, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, works with the museums in that area on projects. Again, they are part of—they deliver projects as part of the Fusion programme, the same as the museums in that area do. So, at that level, there is cross-working and collaboration as well as at the more strategic level between us and our sponsored-body partners. Does that answer—?

Yes. I think it was a bit of a strange question that I asked anyway, so, yes. [Laughter.] Richard.

Yes, we do. We work with Cadw, we work with the royal commission, we work with the National Museum Wales. I think that, over 25 years of being a distributor, what we've done right across the UK, not only in Wales, is actually push organisations, and I think it's been one of the big successes that we're quite proud of as a funder to change perhaps the focus of heritage, and that's because we've taken an outcomes-based approach, which is about heritage, people and communities. In order to get our funding, you have to do all three, and there was a bit of resistance probably in the early days: 'We want to repair this', 'We want to buy that', 'We want to put on this exhibition' and 'We don't want to be tied up with that people and communities agenda.' But, actually, as they've got into it, they realised that, actually, it is beneficial to them as an organisation. They learn as an organisation and they then do better in terms of their outreach and their relevance to the communities that they serve.

I can give an anecdote about Cadw's Hidden Heritage—I'll use it again—but also with the national museum's—[Inaudible.]—programme that, actually, they are learning as organisations, as a result of the projects that we funded, about what it takes to actually be truly relevant to these communities and particularly young people. There are all sorts of lessons of learning. The participants are benefiting, but the organisations are benefiting as well.

What I will say about the National Museum Wales as well is that they also provide a big support mechanism for our other applicants. Quite often, you'll see partnership arrangements—sometimes informal, sometimes formal—there's transferring skills and experience to improve projects that are on a community level, and they really benefit from that. And also, there's a sense of pride that being involved with a national institution in their project within their local community is like a badge of quality, and we would agree with that as well.

09:55

I'm very interested in some of the information, particularly from the arts council, in terms of attendance at activities and events. We know there has traditionally been a significant class division in terms of attendance. Almost the poorer the background—the working-class community is far less likely to attend quite a number of events. Now, what the evidence shows is that, certainly over the last six, seven, eight years, there has been significant improvement across the board in terms of engagement, and I'm sure we all see it, in terms of the increased activity, for example, within schools, in terms of organised participation, I think, which is very encouraging. But there is still that fairly significant gap, even with the growth—the gap just doesn't seem to go away. What is your evaluation as to why that is? Is it just cost, transport or whatever? How do you address it?

As I said, the key messages that we get coming through the research is cost, health issues, time, but also what comes out quite high is 'not interested' or 'not relevant', and I think there's something around that that we can do and we need to do. I think that's where, again, the learning from programmes like Night Out, which takes a different offer into those local communities and engages with those communities, actually gets those communities involved in making choices about the performances that they want to have and take ownership of their promotion and marketing. I think the learning from the Ideas: People: Places programme, which was really engaged and rooted in communities, gave ownership to those communities and a voice to those communities, so that they really took ownership right from the start in terms of decision making, co-production, how they wanted to work with an artist, what that artist could do with them in terms of their community. So, we're learning from that kind of approach.

The creative schools programme we're learning from as well, because in that programme we are working in schools—the lead creative schools scheme is working in schools in areas of high deprivation. We've got a higher number of free school meals' schools involved in that programme than the national average, and we're really seeing—it's the different way of working that is engaging those young people, and in primary schools actually engaging with families as well, so bringing families in who have had no engagement with the arts or with learning. So, families who would not come through the school door who, through that programme, are now coming through the school door.

We've just done a piece of scoping work, actually, looking at those intervention programmes that we've been delivering. We commissioned an organisation that does a lot of work around everyday creativity just to come and look—it wasn't an external piece of work, it was very much an internal scoping—at those programmes and pull the learning from those programmes, and they've now shared some key messages with us. I will be having a conversation with my council at our next meeting in a couple of weeks' time about those key messages and how we might be able to use those to really transform what we're doing. And they are messages about connectors, key people in those communities who make a difference, who can set up the networks, who can do the connecting—absolutely central. And, again, Ideas: People: Places had that and the Creative Learning through the Arts programme has that in terms of creative agents. And in the long term, we're talking five to 10 years—we're not talking three years—if we really want to make a difference; it's about long-term engagement. There are other messages about building capacity and knowledge in terms of people who might be able to work with those communities to develop this way of working. And we need to get our heads around now what we might be able to develop as a programme to take that work forward. 

10:00

It's interesting, the points you make about maybe—certainly, within more working-class families— that there is an issue of interest and so on—the engagement, the aspiration side to it. Now, of course, not all the levers are actually within the ambit of your projects. What are the things that are outside, the levers that are outside, your realm, I suppose, that—if there were two or three things that you thought would make a difference for perhaps other aspects of your governmental policy, what might they be that you think would add to what you're doing?

It is a big question.

I'll just give you a—. One of the areas that I think concerns us all is the ability of people to travel to things—you know, transport. The Bevan Foundation identified that. It's not rocket science, and I know that it has been looked at and has been addressed. The question is how necessarily focused it is as a part of projects. Are there other specifics like that can, cumulatively, help create, add to, the gap?

Travel is a big issue, and, again, through the creative learning programme, one of our tiny schemes is the 'Go and See' scheme, where we're offering funding to schools—small, very small, amounts of money to schools—to take their pupils to a theatre, to a gallery, to see an artist working. Again, a lot of schools that have taken that up have come from the most deprived communities and it's very, very popular. And I think there's something there that we could look at in terms of wider—

Do you have a concern that, as part of the work you're doing, which obviously is quite dependent also on a degree of participation and engagement with activities within schools, a lot of the activities in schools that are geared about taking children to events, to activities and so on—that there appears to be increasing numbers who just can't afford to participate in that, because all these things have charges? There is a gap that appears to be contributing. Is that something that you think is a factor that adds to this?

I think it is. I think, because we're generating an interest, particularly amongst young people through the creative schools programme, what are the opportunities then outside of that within their communities to engage, or continue to engage, in the arts? Interestingly, one of the things that came through the scoping work—. So, as part of the scoping work, we did ask the organisation doing this piece of work for us just to have some conversations—it wasn't a big piece of external research, but, in terms of some of the projects that we were delivering, just to have conversations out there—and one of the messages that also came through is that what we're talking about is what we support and what we offer. And, actually, there are—people are engaged in creative activity and are engaged in arts activity that we're probably not taking account of. And there's something about bringing those two areas of experience together.

Do you think there is more that could be done to promote or explore the link between participation within the arts and these activities and actually the development of skills and job opportunities and then actual participation, because it does seem that this gap also carries on into those who actually participate? I don't want to be offensive, but we look at the people who are involved and that seems to translate into exactly the same representation once you get into those organisations themselves. 

Yes, I agree. I do agree. Though, again, we are seeing a bit of a shift in that, but I think it's really important that people in these communities see role models who have had the same experiences and come from the same experiences. 

And your scoping paper I think you say is going to cover this, and is also exploring some of these issues, so that will obviously be something of considerable interest to us in due course, I would have thought, Chair. 

If I could, yes. I think that the transport issue is becoming ever more acute. Even from your constituency, Pontypridd, for me, if I want to go and participate in something in Pontypridd, or go there either way, I jump in the car and it's 25 minutes. For a young person, it is a massive barrier. And it's a long time since I've been a young person, but I'm starting to remember actually how much a bus fare or a train fare would dictate what I did and what I didn't do in terms of my spare time. And I think that we are recognising that in terms of how we ask potential people who come to us for funding how they design their projects. It's not just young people as well—it's an issue about childcare for some participants. There's a massive thing about being excluded because either I can't involve my entire family, or I can't afford childcare to be able to participate.

The other thing I think that—if there was something that you'd say would help us, it is that we feel that culture and heritage, and participating in activities around culture and heritage, has relevance to all the responsibilities delivered by Welsh Government, particularly about health. But we do struggle to engage with the health organisations—apart from a few notable exceptions, in terms of individual projects—to actually say, 'This is what we can do, and this is actually what we want to be helping and getting involved with as well with our funding'. So, transport—the Fusion project has actually directly done some work about addressing that, and about helping that and identifying the barriers, and we can respond to that in terms of hard money in terms of enabling projects to happen. But if we can engage more with health organisations to show how our projects can help deliver against those, that would be something really positive from our part. We know we've got something to play about that as well.

But the third thing, I think, is about volunteering. I wouldn't say exclusively, but I would say that the majority of the organisations that we fund are volunteer led and volunteer run. And there's some fantastic work out there being done, but actually there is a bit of a crisis in terms of volunteering, in terms of numbers. And there are the willing, but maybe lacking the skills and experience. And I think that we are trying to do what we can, in terms of our funding, in terms of addressing that, and we've got a programme that we're working with with the Wales Council for Voluntary Action. But it's about how do we, collectively, recognise that voluntary organisations need help—with governance, with finance, with HR, all those boring bits that make an organisation work. We all need to recognise that we need to help these organisations if they're going to survive and then thrive in the future and make applications to us and do good things in their community. It doesn't happen by magic—I'm sure you know that.

10:05

Just one more short one. Thank you for your time to us. Do you think there is too little flexibility in the way we support activities and projects? There seem to be quite a number of red lines. I'll give you an example: I know in my own constituency of volunteers who organise young people from the most deprived communities. They want to go to an event, they can get support to actually put their activity together, but they can't go to the event, because the projects say, 'Well, we never support transport', for example—[Inaudible.]—and those are red lines. Do you think that too much inflexibility has crept in to what we do—often for very laudable reasons, but we are actually beginning to counter what we're trying to achieve by too many restrictions?

I think we need to learn lessons, and I think, as both our organisations, we always are constantly learning, and constantly reflecting on evaluations of the projects that we fund. And what's coming across to us in terms of part of that evaluation is that transport costs are a barrier. And I would say that, in terms of our learning experience, we feed that back to people who come to us for funding. So, we say, 'Have you thought about how you involve as many people as possible? Have you thought about including the costs of transport?' And I'm very interested in the arts council's pilot programme for just straight transport costs. For schools, that is the biggest barrier for them to going to an arts event, and, from my point of view, a cultural event. And in a recent meeting with National Museum Wales, I realised that this programme was going on and I'm thinking, 'Well, how do I contribute to that?', and, actually, it's not about everyone attending arts events, but how do we go to museums, how do we go to landscapes, how do we go to nature reserves? There is an aspiration out there amongst either voluntary organisations or schools to do it, but they can't afford to because they can't afford the cost of a bus—simple as that.

10:10

And it's very small amounts of money.

Before I move on to the Fusion project, I didn't want to miss the opportunity to raise with the arts council—Mick Antoniw raised transport and theatre, but, in the last investment review, the arts council cut programmes such as theatre in education that would have taken theatre directly to the schools. How confident are you that the next investment review will make the right decisions by the right people to know that the right choices are being made for those communities if, potentially, things in the past have gone forever that may not ever rear their head again, which, potentially, would be beneficial in the here and now? So, sorry to be a bit cynical about it, but there has to be a way to understand if people in certain organisations know what's relevant to people so that they can be sustained and developed for the future.

Can I answer that in two parts? Yes, we did make a decision—I think it was two investment reviews ago; it was the big investment review, and then we did a subsequent, slightly smaller investment review—

—yes, so have I [Laughter.]—to cut theatre in education. However, I have to say that the Creative Learning through the Arts programme has absolutely transformed what's happening in schools in terms of engagement with the arts, and not just theatre, but absolutely changing young people's lives, and has played a key role in terms of preparing for the new curriculum. So, they weren't directly linked, but we have developed a programme that is really making a difference in terms of what young people are experiencing in schools. 

With the investment review, the new corporate plan, as I said, has two external priorities and what we're calling an enabling priority. And the two priorities are about—. One is promoting equalities as the central plank on which we will be doing everything and supporting everything as we move forward—so, about reaching more deeply and more widely. The second priority is about the arts sector and developing the sustainability and resilience of the arts sector.

Why is the equalities thing only coming up now, though? Surely, it should have been important all the way through.

It has—it absolutely has. It's been one of our priorities in the last corporate plan and the corporate plan before that, so it has been there, and we've pushed and we have been pushing the agenda and we've delivering projects and programmes ourselves that have really tackled that. We've had our strategic equality plan that has had those kind of objectives central to that. But what our council recognised, over the last 18 months, was it hasn't made that monumental shift in engagement that we really want to see—exactly the point that you raised about, yes, we are seeing improvements in engagement and participation and audiences, but we're not narrowing that gap. If we really mean to do that, then we've got to signal that something fundamental has to change. And that's what—. That is the message that we have put out there. That's what our corporate plan is now talking about. Corporate plans: we've had 10, 11, 12 objectives, one of which is about equalities; we now have two external objectives and one internal, enabling objective—a real, clear message that we have to make that shift, and a real clear message to organisations that that's what you've got to help us deliver as we move forward along this programme, and, if you can't really demonstrate that you are going to help us to deliver that—.

Yes, thank you, Chair. I thought you said something very interesting earlier, and it's a very basic point but I think it's where we need to start, and that's that there's an awful lot of artistic, creative, heritage-related activity that goes on in more deprived communities, but we just don't value it often, do we? I know brass bands don't get as much money as symphony orchestras—and I'm happy that we subsidise symphony orchestras. So, what are you doing in your own organisations to set a more realistic agenda that recognises where creative activity is and how that may then be appropriately supported?

10:15

I think that comes back to the piece of scoping work that we've undertaken that has looked at the learning from the different programmes we've delivered—learning from that and developing a programme of work that will address exactly those points. 

So, how does the board formulate this? Do you have working groups that engage directly with people from these communities? Because that's what Fusion is all about. It's about the networks getting more experienced, especially in the more regional and national institutions, so that they have the wherewithal to draw up realistic priorities and to involve people in their decision making.

That's what our Ideas: People: Places programme was all about as well. We're learning from Fusion, we're learning from Ideas: People: Places, we're learning from other programmes, we're learning from the work of the organisations we support, the network of community arts organisations who are based in those communities—we're learning from the work that they do. We have groups within the arts council. We have a programme group that is looking specifically at widening engagement. We have a programme group that is looking specifically at creative pathways and routes into the arts. Again, the equality agenda sits underneath both of those. Part of the remit of those groups is to have those kinds of conversations. If our council is minded to look at developing a programme of activity that specifically takes this work forward in a much more meaningful way, which I suspect they will be, we need then to really engage with those communities. Again, it's not necessarily our voices having those conversations; it's about identifying those key connectors in those communities who can have those conversations on our behalf, so that we are hearing what those communities are telling us.

I think you're being quite candid. I commend your approach. It sounds to me the governance still hasn't really caught up with the Fusion concept of directly involving people who have these experiences of living in these communities—like when you do your corporate plan and set out how you're going to evaluate things.

In doing the corporate plan, we did consult—that's the arts council's corporate plan—we did have those conversations. So, that has very much informed the priorities that we now set for our corporate plan.

And the same sort of questions, really, to you, in terms of the Heritage—

As I said at the beginning of my contribution, we have open programmes. Our approach, developed over the last 25 years, is that we don't define what we mean by heritage and culture. We ask communities to come to us to say what's important and what they value. Eighty per cent of our grants by number are under what we call our small grants programme, which is at a community level, from £3,000 to £100,000. So, we rely on those communities to tell us what they want to do rather than to dictate to them what we think they should do.

That's why we value the Fusion approach, that's why we've supported it, because its ethos mirrors what we want to achieve. What it does is it puts a certain amount of capacity—and I keep going back to that capacity issue—into those communities to pull people together, to create networks and to identify what they value. Then, hopefully, that results in a series of aspirations or ideas that will transform themselves into projects, applications, activity within those communities. I still think it's early days with Fusion, but there are some notable successes across the pilot areas, and some of the new ones that came in at a later date anecdotally show that actually that's really coming through with results. And we're seeing it in terms of the things that we fund, particularly from places like Llanelli or Newport, and, to a certain extent, Gwynedd as well.  

10:20

Can I just add—? I think what we're seeing from that is that what is key to those successes is the co-ordinator. It's that co-ordinator based in those communities making those connections. 

You're not the—[Inaudible.]—I would have asked a specific question on that. That observation has been made by several witnesses—how key that post is. I think that's very important that we hear that as well, if that's your view, because I'm sure that will be reflected in our report.

The Fusion concept could be applied to quite—. Our funding mechanisms are still very traditional,  aren't they? The typical way of getting money from either of your organisations is for one organisation to make an application. So, all the stuff you need to do that, even at the community level where you're talking about quite modest sums—. But certainly, if we're up to a level that is perhaps a three-year project with some employment and activity of a larger nature, and it's no wonder you don't get many applications from Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr Tydfil and Aberdare. The ones you do get are going to be very much where the established bodies are, and this is a problem that we see at the UK level, in and around London and the south-east. But we replicate it a bit in Cardiff and the area around. But also, if you look more generally, the more middle class an area the more likely they are to make an application. Don't we need to break through some of the traditional concepts?

So, why don't we cluster applications, for a start? A more federal approach, so that—. I live in Penarth, so if a project in Penarth wants to run it might have to seek out a partner in Gibbonsdown or something in Barry. All of a sudden you start to then develop a more integrated model. And you can do this at the national level too in terms of the activities that are expected if you get substantial public funding, so that you're supporting proper outreach in communities or you have an effective transport policy. Isn't it a scandal, really, that large national organisations do not have a transport policy? And how on earth do we expect people to travel quite considerable distances over often awkward routes to get to Cardiff or other locations?

I'm not sensing an awful lot of—. A lot of goodwill, but not an awful lot of innovation in our funding approaches and models. Am I being very unfair? 

I would say that's very interesting about partnering organisations and I'll reflect on that after this meeting. But it's also going back to that capacity issue, and that one of the ways that we try and tackle that capacity issue is to partner organisations—someone who is successful with someone who's just starting out on the journey. So, it's not just us dictating or telling people or hand holding, but it's actually peer learning—

We have conversations with nearly everybody before they apply. 

Because I've had to facilitate a lot of that myself, as opposed to your organisations doing it, which obviously then is staff intensive. It would be really helpful to know, if you're doing it, how you're doing it and how we can utilise it. Sorry to intervene. 

Yes, of course, and we don't want to replicate and we want to complement. But it's a regular thing that I've been used to doing in terms of our development function and how we help people to apply. But also we're starting to think about changing our approach, about saying, 'Well, if we have some areas that we're calling areas of focus'—and our areas of focus for the next five years will be the geographical areas of Neath Port Talbot and Rhondda Cynon Taf—'what are we going to do differently that we haven't done before?' And actually that idea of more intensive help for groups, more intensive help for groups as a cohort so that they support each other through the application process—. And actually we have been given the freedom under this new strategic framework of pushing down more responsibility to a local level to actually say, 'Why do we have to make the decision? Is there a way of putting our funding down to a more local level where the decision is made within the Cynon valley or within Port Talbot?' Now, that is a challenge to us. We are a little bit traditional, but we recognise that, if we're going to make a difference in those areas and we're in it for the long haul for at least the next five years, we're going to have to try things differently. Hopefully, you'll feel a bit more reassured by that. 

10:25

These are some of the questions that we asked as part of the lottery consultation, so it will be interesting to see exactly what comes out from that. We're getting some indication—. We've had some early indication—we haven't published anything yet—but we are getting indications of some of the responses around that. We did pose the question about putting money out to local decision making, and I'm not sure that that's—. The message that we're getting back was that that wasn't that very well received, actually, and that people weren't particularly interested in going down that route. However, key messages were about simplifying the process—considerably simplifying the process—and that is something that we need to do. What did come back was about smaller fast-track grants.

At the moment, it's one organisation that puts in the application, but we quite often get applications that are collaborative, so there's more than one organisation actually involved in the project or the programme. But at the minute, it's one applicant. Certainly, in terms of the last investment review—and I suspect that we will be saying the same thing this time around—we encouraged collaboration and much more collaboration, and we will be talking about that again. And not just collaborating as partners, but also what can organisations that might come through that investment review—what can they offer in terms of supporting other organisations, smaller local groups, to be able to do exactly what you're talking about. 

Another approach that we are piloting—I don't want to cut across the arts council—but we learn a little bit from the arts council about looking at the idea of place shaping or placemaking. We've got a series of five pilots. Three of them actually mirror Fusion areas but they're on a smaller scale. So, it will be Colwyn Bay in Conwy, it is Llanelli in Carmarthenshire and it is the slate area—llechi—in Gwynedd. But we've also got the Preseli hills in Pembrokeshire and Barry in the Vale, and it's about them coming up with—again, about putting the decision making into their hands about what they identify is important, what they want to protect and conserve and then celebrate. But then, also, the next stage is how do you want to address that. If there are different ways that they want to address that in terms of their communities, I'm open to that conversation and it could be a different way of them accessing the funding other than our simple open programmes. It's down to them to come to us at the end of those two-year pilots with an action plan and a set of proposals about how they want to deliver that action plan. And that could be in partnership with other funders or it could be through how do you access our programmes.   

Yes. I just wanted to—. It's been very interesting that a number of witnesses—and you've also referred to this—have said you shouldn't just focus on attendance and it's much more about engagement and then the fuller opportunities that might follow in terms of skill development and even employment. But attendance is actually quite quite important, isn't it? It's quite measurable as well. You know, the national museum presumably does have data on where their visitors are from or, if they don't, they could certainly construct that by having a couple of surveys each year and just asking people their post code, for instance. And part of what we need to do is ensure there is fair access to what gets major public funding.

Now, if I actually paid a market rate for what I access, I would be paying several thousand pounds a year, I'd imagine. That's a whopping great subsidy, and middle class people often overlook how much public money comes their way, in a sense. But if these things are funded, then they should be accessible to all, which means transport policies. But another thing it means is that there aren't many people who've never been to the museum and suddenly turn up in their mid 40s, I guess. It's quite a big barrier to go in there, isn't it? And you need some sort of mentoring or interpretation to enjoy these things. It seems to me that we've been moving away from that type of thing.

We don't have very extensive volunteer programmes in the cultural sector, where people act as mentors or interpreters and enable people to have a much richer experience so that they're talking about what they're seeing in the museum or gallery or whatever it is—or, indeed, the opera. There aren't many people who would go in and watch an opera that had no exposure before. But there are many operas, I think, that are very accessible if someone just had a half-an-hour conversation with someone beforehand. Again, it strikes me that we don't place enough emphasis on that type of activity within our cultural organisations as well.

10:30

I would—

I would, actually, to a certain extent, disagree, I'm afraid. I would say that in the heritage sector, in my experience, it wouldn't run without volunteers; it just wouldn't. The actual museum provision and heritage provision on a local level is utterly dependent on volunteers.

Sorry, I was talking more about national organisations.

In national organisations, that may be the case, but, actually, even with those organisations, they are quite heavily dependent on volunteers and they are committed, from my experience, in actually providing skills provision and training for those volunteers, because without that, just turning up without that is not actually helping those organisations. You have to invest in those volunteers—for their effectiveness in terms of your operation, but also for their interest and well-being. Why would you keep turning up and giving your time for free if you don't feel you're valued and you don't feel that your contribution is constantly being updated and contributed to?

In terms of the visitor numbers, we require that in terms of reporting back to us in terms of straight numbers. We're interested in straight numbers as well as the quality; it's also about quantity for us as well. But also, any business—and all heritage organisations now have to think along a more commercial line. That information is gold dust, and more and more, even of our voluntary heritage organisations, realise that, actually, knowing who comes, and more importantly who doesn't come, is vital to their survival about what they do in terms of provision going forward. They're becoming much more commercially minded and they need to know that sort of basic customer information.

Jest cwestiwn olaf clou ar werthuso, achos bod angen inni gyfro gwerthuso. Felly, os nad oes digon o amser i fynd trwyddo fe’n llwyr, os allech chi ysgrifennu atom ni gyda mwy o wybodaeth, byddai hwnna’n helpu. Delyth.

Just a final quick question on evaluation, because we do need to cover that area. So, if we don't have enough time to go through it in detail, perhaps you could write to us with more information. Delyth.

I appreciate that you will have already answered some of this, so we'll obviously keep in mind what you've already said on this, but how would you evaluate the work that either you do or that you fund in terms of tackling poverty and social exclusion? Particularly keeping in mind how some of it is very difficult to—well, it's quite intangible. And I know that both of your evidences have touched on this.

I will be candid again. I think that's something that we need to get better at, and I'm probably not alone in saying that. We do evaluate projects and programmes. We tend to use models that set outcomes at the beginning—your theory-of-change model—that doesn't allow for the shift and change that can happen with programmes of this kind that are bound to happen because you're putting ownership with the communities you're working with and they can take something in a very different direction. Traditional evaluation models don't tend to allow for that to happen. So, there is something around more research-based evaluation that we need to do, and I have no answers at this point in time on what that looks like. I think it's certainly something that I would be saying to you I think that we need help with.  

10:35

In the spirit of being candid, I will be as well. We're a UK-wide body, so we report to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. We've just had a tailored review, and we have come under a degree of criticism about the quantity and quality of our evaluation. In our defence, we are an organisation of only 300 people to cover the whole of the UK, and the Wales team is only 14, and that's not even full-time equivalents. We've tended to rely on the applicant to do the evaluation in many cases, and that can mean that you can get a very wide range of quality of information coming back. And we realise that we have to focus on this a lot more. Nationally, we're focusing on it a lot more.

In terms of providing information and guidance to our grantees, we're improving that, and we're also starting to bring them together as cohorts to work together, so that those five projects I mentioned earlier on all across Wales are doing place shaping. They have been brought together twice already in their first year with a facilitator to look at how they undertake their evaluation, because they are pilots by their definition. We need to learn lessons, so their evaluation has to be as good as it can be, but we are focusing on improving that, and not just being, 'Oh, it's a tick box in our application—yes, of course, we'll evaluate', but actually to embed it in the actual project from start to finish, so that we learn lessons and—going back to my evidence earlier on about learning and developing—that the organisation comes out of the project at the end in a better place than they were at the beginning. 

Diolch yn fawr iawn ichi am ddod mewn i roi tystiolaeth. Dyna'r oll sydd ar gael o ran amser. Os oes mwy o wybodaeth gyda chi ynglŷn ag amseroedd rhai o'r adolygiadau neu ganlyniadau rhai o'r adolygiadau rydych chi'n eu gwneud, neu rywfaint o'r gwaith mae'r loteri yn ei wneud trwy hybu pobl i ddod at ei gilydd i rannu sut maen nhw'n gallu rhoi cais ger bron, byddai hwnna'n helpu ni fel pwyllgor yn fawr iawn. Felly, diolch yn fawr iawn ichi am ddod mewn.   

Thank you very much for joining us and providing evidence. That's all the time we have, but if you do have further information on the timings of some of the reviews or the outcomes of some of the reviews that you're conducting, or any of the work that the lottery is doing in encouraging people to come together to share best practice in terms of how they can make applications, that would help us as a committee. So, thank you very much for joining us.   

Thank you. 

Byddwn ni'n cymryd seibiant o ddwy funud nawr. Diolch. 

We will take a two-minute break. Thank you. 

Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 10:37 a 10:45.

The meeting adjourned between 10:37 and 10:45.

10:45
3. Minnau hefyd! - Ymchwiliad i rôl y celfyddydau a diwylliant wrth fynd i'r afael â thlodi ac allgáu cymdeithasol: Academyddion
3. Count me in! - Inquiry into the role of arts and culture in addressing poverty and social exclusion: Academics

Diolch, a chroeso i'r Pwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu. Eitem 3 ar yr agenda yw 'Minnau hefyd!—Ymchwiliad i rôl y celfyddydau a diwylliant wrth fynd i'r afael â thlodi ac allgáu cymdeithasol'. A heddiw, dŷn ni'n trafod hyn gyda'r academyddion. Yn ein mysg mae Dr Eva Elliott, sef Cymrawd Ymchwil Mygedol, Ysgol y Gwyddorau Cymdeithasol, Prifysgol Caerdydd, a hefyd yr Athro Morag McDermont, Athro Astudiaethau Cymdeithasol-Gyfreithiol, Ysgol y Gyfraith, Prifysgol Bryste. Teitlau hir gyda chi'ch dwy. Diolch yn fawr iawn i chi am ddod mewn atom heddiw. Os nad ydych yn deall sut dŷn ni'n gweithredu, dŷn ni'n cael cwestiynau ar sail themâu gwahanol, gan Aelodau gwahanol. Felly, os yw'n iawn gyda chi, awn ni'n syth mewn i'r cwestiynau hynny. Ac i gychwyn gyda ni y bore yma, Mick Antoniw.

Thank you, and welcome back to the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications committee. Item 3 on the agenda is 'Count me in!—Inquiry into the role of arts and culture in addressing poverty and social exclusion'. And today, we have a panel of academics: Dr Eva Elliott, Honorary Research Fellow, School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University, as well as Professor Morag McDermont, Professor of Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Bristol Law School. They are very lengthy titles, both. But thank you very much for joining us this morning. In case you don't know how we work, we tend to have themed questions from different Members. So, if it's okay with you, we'll move immediately to those questions. And to kick off, we have Mick Antoniw.

Firstly, thank you for attending. One of the areas we've been very interested in is the broad range as to not only the role of arts and production and so on, but the issues of engagement with it. And one of the things that's particularly concerned me is the class division that continues to exist in terms of participation and engagement. What I would like to focus on is really those who are actually engaged in the actual operation, participation of arts within our society, which seems to be very divided in terms of those with the more affluent backgrounds, and so on, and those who come from poorer or working class backgrounds, and so on. Firstly, do you think that is an issue, to what extent, and to what extent have we actually really been able to address it?

We're speaking as academics who have used—well, have worked with—arts practice, arts practitioners, as a way of developing our research, as a way of enabling knowledge to come out that would not otherwise have been there. So arts practice, and arts and creative practice, has been part of what we have been—our overall, if you like, array of practices as part of research. The communities that we have been working in have all been communities at the margins, who have suffered economic and social deprivation. We found that, by working with artists, and enabling people themselves to develop their own creative practices, people really engaged in the research.

There were issues of—. There were language barriers; some of the communities, their main language—. There were Somali refugees, and they engaged, and they engaged through the arts practice. So, for instance, one of the things we got people doing was making jewellery, and people really engaged in that. And so what that enabled was then people to be able to talk about their own life experiences. So, out of that, we were able to gain a much greater understanding of people's experiences of poverty.

So, in that context, we had—arts practice was a great way of engaging people in the process of research. And in fact it also did result in a number of small community interest companies coming out of our research project, as a sort of spin-off, which we might want to talk about later. I don't know whether that answers your question.

Shall I say something? I'm Eva Elliott. I was working on the same research project as Morag—Productive Margins—but another one called Representing Communities as well. I also led one of the Fusion projects, at its very beginning. So I've seen arts participation, cultural participation, from slightly other ways as well. In terms of barriers, some of them are the same for engaging with the research. Some of it's time. Even though people might be in poverty, and may be out of work, that doesn't mean that they've got loads of time to actually engage in the arts. It's money, obviously, and if you're talking about engaging with the big arts, sometimes it's just not feasible, actually, to participate or engage with arts. And even if it's arts activity, sometimes that involves money and time that is just not available. We can't assume that they do have time. Sometimes it's transport as well. I think these are things that you've heard before from previous people. But there's also fear as well, I think, sometimes, and uncertainty about what art does and what it's for, particularly when it's not something familiar.

To say that people in poverty or people living in deprived areas are deprived of culture is a bit of a—it's not quite right, actually. Because actually, you find, in the places that we've worked in, they're rich in culture; their own culture. They have choirs, they have faith organisations in which they participate and very rich cultural kinds of activities that are often overlooked. And sometimes, the work that we've been doing, in my work too, is recognising that and picking up on that, and actually developing activities or ways of working that recognise what people are doing on the ground anyway. So, that relates to some of the enablers, because I think some of it is about the cultural industries investing in time and relationships to actually get to know the communities that we hope that they're engaging and go with their kinds of rhythms and understandings, where the communities lead, if you like. And then the results can be really inspiring, actually, and I hope—we've tried to give some examples of where that's really worked.

10:50

That's a really helpful narrative and I certainly recognise that from my own constituency of Pontypridd in terms of all those things that are there. But then you did make the reference, of course, to the cultural industries and that's one of the areas. But when you get to the cultural industries, that isn't really reflected within those industries. Or is it your view that the cultural industries aren't reflective of that broader community engagement in cultural activities at a lower stage, and why is that?

I'm speaking, I suppose, as a bit of an observer, then—and perhaps Fusion as well. I have experienced very good examples of working with National Theatre Wales, through Representing Communities. Actually, the way that National Theatre Wales has worked in the past has been very good; it's been very rooted wherever they've worked in the communities that they've worked with. And the same goes for the museum as well, from what I've understood. But I've also heard examples of where there have been projects in communities, they come in and then they've gone out and people think, 'What on earth was that about?' and it's felt to people in communities that they're just doing their own tick-box exercise. And I think it probably feels quite insulting, but we find the same in research too. You know, 'We're doing research in your area that's going to be of huge benefit to you', but actually, no, not really. So, as in research, I think the cultural industries too need to respect the communities they work with and build those relationships. It doesn't happen in one project if you're going in and out—and it does happen.

I was just going to build on that point about working with the expertise that exists within communities, and I think that was an important element of the arts practitioners who were part of our research projects—that they weren't going in as, 'We're the arts practitioners and we know it all'. They were going in very much as, 'This is a collaboration' and respecting the expertise that already exists there. And then the partnerships and networks that can develop from that, from the people coming in from outside working with people in local communities, is then itself beneficial. But it very much depends on the attitude of the practitioners.

10:55

Let's just take it to the nub, then, because we've got a lot of really interesting narrative. The nub of it is: people from poorer backgrounds do not get jobs in the creative cultural industries to the same extent as those from wealthier backgrounds.

Yes.

Absolutely. 

Why is that, or what can we do to actually change that, and what are we doing to try to change it? What are the levers that are actually restricting that change? It's a change we see not just in the creative industries, but a whole series—journalism and all sorts of other areas are exactly the same. There is that gap. And that is one of the areas we are looking at: how we address it and what we think might be the two or three key levers that might actually make a difference. We're not looking at solving the issue overnight, but what can we do that recommends to Government or the organisations that we engage with that makes a change?

Well, you could take the examples of, say, the media centres that have been set up actually in communities that are at the margin. So, in Bristol, there's the Knowle West Media Centre, and in Gurnos, the 3Gs Development Trust is working really hard to develop as a media centre. So, to enable people within their own community to be engaging in the cultural arts, to be using their own creativity, and then finding ways that that, if you like, can be recognised, through accredited courses or whatever. So, it's accessibility, isn't it? It's making it possible for people to think, 'Yes, this is something I could do.' So, not assuming that people will go and travel into an unfamiliar area, but to be able to start off by saying, 'Yes, this is something that can happen within this community.' 

Yes, I agree with that. We're all aware of the data that shows there's a disparity there. And yes, the other thing that is exciting, I suppose, is the creative hubs development in the city regions. So, I think, Cardiff University with two other universities, the University of South Wales and I think it's the Manchester Met, have just had a significant grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to create creative hubs throughout the city region. And I think that if there's a possibility to tap into local possibilities of creative talent—so, in Gurnos, they have got the media centre and they've done really well. They've had lots of experience of working with cultural industries and now they're actually beginning to see what they've got there as a possible hub for both providing opportunities for developing skills in the cultural industries locally, but as a draw to bring other people in as well. I think we should be nurturing that. So that's certainly one way. 

The other thing, and it depends what you—. In the cultural industries and the creative industries, there are lots of ways and different ways, and some apply to some and not to others, and the barriers are different. I speak as somebody who was, in a former life, an actor and my son is a musician, but I speak to other artists, too, who say that if they were starting out now they'd find it impossible, because if you're unemployed and you're wanting to be a musician, or something, and you want to practice your art, you have to be without work for long periods of time, and the systems just don't allow for that, unless you come from middle-class backgrounds where you're getting support from your mum and dad. 

Diolch, Chair. Thank you for the evidence you've given so far around the reasons why particular projects work and don't work, to do with the actual co-ordination on the ground and embedding in the community, because that's certainly something I've seen from my own perspective locally, but it's not evidence that we've had brought to us, yet, so that's very useful. Thank you. In addition to that, are there any other barriers that both of you perceive for people who are experiencing poverty or social exclusion from attending arts and cultural events?

We've covered quite a lot of those in our evidence. One of the—. Just maybe to backtrack a bit on the research programme: so, within the research programme, we did build in quite a lot in terms of resources to enable people to participate. So, we made sure that we had funding for crèche facilities. We've tried to make it possible that people could attend, and certainly the community organisations that we were involved with were funded for their time because we recognised that that was important. We were taking them away from their other work. So, part of it is people being able to resource, if you like, people's participation. And I think part of it also is the discussion that we've had just now about accessibility and about being in communities rather than expecting engagement to always happen outside.

11:00

Yes, so that's engaging in activities, but in terms of attending—going to museums or going to the theatre—I think it's the barriers that we've been talking about: it's time, money, resources, lack of familiarity. What I think is really exciting about museums now though as well, in terms of the unfamiliarity stuff, is that people are beginning to see that museums and heritage have got something to do with them as well and I think there have been a lot of changes, for instance in St Fagans in terms of the ways in which they've engaged with local communities, and you can see much more how people can see that, 'Actually, this has got something to do with my history as well.'

It's also heartening to see how communities themselves are gaining funding to build heritage projects within their own communities. I'm thinking in Caerau, for instance, and other places too. So, people begin to think, 'Well, actually, yes, my place is historically very significant and interesting, and it's worth coming here.' It's certainly something that we found when working with the Men's Project in Gurnos too, who started working with the people at Cyfarthfa Castle and setting up heritage trails themselves. They noticed in doing that that lots of people, as they could see digitally, were coming to visit their trail. So, they were really feeling proud that, 'Actually, yes, Merthyr is amazing, and we actually have this fantastic castle—isn't it great to live here?' 

So, there are all sorts of barriers to attending cultural places, but there are also great opportunities and I think change is beginning to happen in Wales to enable that to happen and to break down those barriers.

So, would you say there's a responsibility on arts and cultural organisations, if they want to engage these sorts of people, that they need to have a more localised focus and things that really tap into what people are proud of about their local roots and heritage? Is that the way to go?

Yes, I think so, but also the local feeling like it's bigger than the local as well. Again, with the heritage geocaching project we did, it actually started off—. We got involved really because the men in the Men's Project were really excited about the geocaching around Cyfarthfa Castle and they wanted to extend it, and this is through Fusion actually. We worked to support them in joining up with communities in Ely and Caerau and Butetown, Grangetown and Riverside, in showing them how they might set up trails themselves and then working together on trails as well. We funded them to go to the British Museum to the Celtic exhibition there. But then the national museum got involved. We also funded a trail between Merthyr and Abercynon that was supposed to go down to Cardiff, but we never really had the time or the resource to actually do that, but we involved Cyfarthfa Castle and we involved, I think, Pontypridd Museum as well, but also the national museum. So, we tried to make it both local, but something that connected communities as well, recognising their shared heritage and to make something bigger, something about Wales as well. So, I think the interactions between local and the national are really important.

11:05

Can I just add something? It's also, I think, about not making assumptions about understandings of what creativity is, if you like. One of the interesting projects, and this was a Bristol based project, was the engagement of artists enabled a group of Somali women to see their own food and cooking as something that was very creative. It was part of their heritage that they wanted to be able to maintain within the new communities that they were in in Bristol and Cardiff. Interestingly, it was bringing the artist in and setting up this pop-up Somali kitchen that then has led to them themselves setting up a business, which is partly so that they can bring food into the communities, but also it is partly a matter of them extending what they see as their heritage.

I think one of the things that we certainly really valued in our research programme was that the research council gave us a great deal of leeway to develop projects as they came out of communities. I think one of the difficulties that certainly we can experience in universities, and the community organisations that we've worked with talk about, is that a lot of funding organisations, if they go for grants, become very focused on, 'What are your outputs?' So, before you even enter into something, you have to say, 'This is what is going to be the output.' If we'd had that sort of restriction, some of the creative things like this Somali kitchen would never have happened. So, I think there's a responsibility on public funding organisations to consider taking risks and to put trust in communities that they will be able to develop, and they have their own creativities, which will come out if you enable that as a possibility.

You still need outputs, though, don't you? It's just that your example was a better output, which as the project went along presumably emerged. That's the flexibility we want, rather than, say, we don't have some rigour in the process.

I think what I'm saying is that, rather than being required at the beginning to say, 'This is what we're going to—'

Yes, but if you can adapt or change—because it's not very creative to say at the beginning what you're going to do at the end, I can see that. But, there does need to be some purpose, I suppose, in projects.

Yes, absolutely.

Just a quick question before I move to Delyth. I just wanted to understand, from these projects that you've said people have worked on from different communities, does any of this go into the realm of community cohesion? Because I'm just conscious of whether, for example, the Portuguese community of Merthyr could team up with the Somali community of Cardiff to then see how that integration agenda can be addressed, which we're crying out for. We were talking earlier about how we could get people to put in applications together. Are those types of opportunities to work creatively being addressed sufficiently, do you think, to address some of the social issues that we're facing at the moment?

I think it potentially can. For instance, in the geocaching project, again, we brought communities together from Butetown, so we had Muslim women, for instance, working alongside people from Merthyr. They'd never worked together. But it has to come—. You can't force these things, but you can find creative ways of bringing people together, and to recognise what they share as well as how—

How does that expand, though, so it's not just exclusive to that particular project, so that other communities across Wales can do it?

Yes, well, that's a big issue. I think the geocaching project is an amazing—. You can't say it necessarily would work elsewhere, but if there was an opportunity—. I think it was a really exciting and potentially creative vehicle for bringing all kinds of communities together. I would love to see that idea expanded across Wales because it's a very bottom-up way of bringing people together, where actually people forget their— you know, they recognise who they are but they also look at—. It was a great vehicle for getting different communities together. So, I think you have to work slowly with these things, but I think that kind of approach has amazing potential, I have to say.

Can I just say, as well, if you're talking about opportunities to bring different communities together, I think we have a marvellous opportunity in Wales, which has been mentioned by other people? The metro development: huge opportunities. Actually, if it's going to happen, it should start happening now. When you're talking about the opportunities for different communities across the city region to have the opportunity to actually say and highlight and make visible the cultural heritage and assets that they actually have, both locally in terms of—. Okay, if you were looking at a digital map of the city region metro—and they do this in Montreal, I have to say—you could actually look and say, 'Well, what's there? Oh, I don't know about this place but they do this and they do that.' You can get communities involved in perhaps designing new stations, but the metro is also about connections, isn't it? So, there are all kinds of ways in which you could use this kind of infrastructure development to be so much more. It's something that Mark Barry himself, who was the driver of the metro, recognised and I think there are others as well in the cultural industries who recognise that. But actually, it needs some leadership somewhere to say, 'Well, actually, we need this to happen now because it can't be just done as an add-on very late on in the process.' Those processes of trust, getting communities really interested and how they're connecting together and how they can brand themselves, if you like that terminology, should be coming now. I think that's a really good opportunity. I'm retired now. I can't drive that forward, so somebody has to. 

11:10

Well, we've heard it loud and clear here today, anyway. Delyth. 

That's absolutely fascinating. I think what I took as the crux of the evidence that you've given is this idea that art can sometimes be seen as something that creates distance and that, actually, it should be something that's doing the opposite. It should be scaling divides and it can scale divides in lots of different ways, sometimes geographically but also getting people to recognise, like we've already been talking about, that they can recognise themselves in a new way, they can see themselves in a new context and see how they are grounded in their own communities and their own landscapes and also across communities. I think that's really fascinating. Were there particular other findings around that area that you'd particularly like to highlight? 

Perhaps I can mention the Life Chances project, which was a Productive Margins project, which I think we mentioned here. It brought together people from south Riverside. Mainly women, wasn't it? People living in poverty in different ways—they may be refugees, they may be single parents or low pay or whatever. They worked with the Single Parent Action Network in Bristol, and they wanted to have some way of talking about the regulations in which they lived, in which they had to because they're people living in poverty. But it was also an opportunity to reimagine what those systems might look like if they were going to be flourishing, if you life.

So, they did this project and they themselves chose—. They felt that working with artists would be helpful to unlock different ways of understanding their own experiences and experimenting with new ways of seeing different kinds of possibilities. They worked with an arts organisation called Close and Remote, who supported them in writing a novel, in the process of creating jewellery. It's an odd thing to describe, because they had workshops making jewellery, and the novel that was written was about jewellery makers, I think, or people making jewellery—that was part of it. But the jewellery-making unlocked—. So, people weren't sort of talking to each other; they were doing something creative. But also, they created fictional characters, which meant that they weren't just talking about their own experience. You know, it can be difficult to talk about very harrowing experiences, but they created fictional characters with whom they could be more playful.

I didn't see all the workshops—I don't know if you did, Morag—but what came out was something quite magnificent. The novel is now available on Amazon, should you wish to have it. I've got the link there. But it also unlocked other things, because people started writing songs. It was lovely to see how that kind of opened up a space for creativity, but it was done in a very gentle way—a way, I think, that the artists were very, very sensitive with the way in which they worked to kind of gently bring out those kinds of ideas of talking about themselves, but also reimagining as well. It wasn't airy-fairy at all. It was really kind of working with the rhythms and the experiences of the people who they were working with.

11:15

Another example would be going back to the example of food. One of the projects was around—. They called it 'Who decides what's in my fridge?' The process of working together and cooking together, being, if you like, creative about cooking, brought two very different communities together. This was Bristol based ones, but they were very different. There was Knowle West, which is a predominantly white, working-class estate, and there was the Somali community of Easton. It almost goes back to your question. They started off by thinking, 'We've got nothing in common', and in fact, one of them was saying—. Some of the Knowle West people were saying, 'Our problem is we don't have supermarkets,' and in Easton they were saying, 'Our problem is there are too many food outlets—there are too many takeaways.' By the end, it did create a dialogue between these two communities, as well as, certainly within the Easton community, developing a campaign about the takeaways and the need for alternatives, which, again, led to the Somali women saying, 'Right, we'll show you what proper fast food is like.' So, that is quite interesting, if you think about cooking as creativity, and it creates a point of communication. It's like the jewellery making; it's something you can do without words, in a way, so language barriers are not necessarily there, and then you find people saying, 'Oh, well, you know, this is what—.' In fact, that's what was happening in the jewellery making. The Somali women were bringing designs from Somalia into this process of jewellery making, so a process of communication, which is—.

If I could mention one more example, because it might be something that you're more familiar with in terms of what it's achieved. Professor Emma Renold was also working on the Productive Margins project programme, and we were working in Merthyr Tydfil around a kind of geographic information system project, really, so getting young people to map their issues around safety, but also spaces that gave them a sense of well-being.

But out of that—and this is the good thing about taking risks and allowing things to develop in different ways—there were a number of young people in the school that we were working with who started to talk about other things that they were worried about, and that was the everyday sexism that they experienced at school and in the community and so on. So, Emma Renold held a number of lunch time workshops. I can't remember what she called them. Actually, working with artists too, gradually worked with creating visual ideas, which really expressed the anger and hurt that they experienced. So, that creates a number of artefacts about how young girls, in particular, in this case, can talk about the experiences that they felt.

But it also turned into a form of activism, where we worked with Citizens Cymru Wales, or the young people. You may have got a Valentine's card a few years ago about the need for healthy relationships education within schools, and who knows what the impact of that was, but healthy relationships became a requirement in the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015. I had to write that down. As you know, the agenda programme for healthy relationships in schools is there now. So, it's had some—. Emma's done work elsewhere, but the work we did as a part of that project, and working with artists, and working creatively, is a fantastic example of working in that way and what working with artists can create in the long run.

11:20

Fascinating. The other question I had was—actually, again, it's all linked, it's to do with the skills that you would feel that participants would have developed from this work. If you could talk a little bit about—I know you've touched on this already—but specifically then, do you think that there were any skills that participants seemed to gain from these experiences that were unexpected?

Certainly producing the novel, I think, was highly unexpected. [Laughter.] I'm sure none of the participants would have started off by thinking that they could be authors to a novel. The jewellery making was something that they hadn't necessarily thought about, but became a part of what they really, really engaged in. So, that was quite unexpected. I suppose the other—. But there's another side to it, and that is the relationships that develop between, say, people who work in the cultural industries and local communities.

At the ending of our research programme, we asked these artists, Close and Remote, who'd worked on the Life Chances project, to work with us for the final 12 months of the programme, 18 months of the programme, and to create something as artists in response to the research theme, which was, 'How do we regulate for engagement?' How do we have both governmental organisations and private sector organisations who regulate people's everyday lives, how can they be much more engaged with the communities who themselves will be regulated? What they were doing was that they did a series of walks around five different communities, I think, in Cardiff, Gurnos and then three in Bristol. The interesting thing was that the process of doing the walks, and the idea of the walks was that then people were directed to look at the built environment, the roads and the way that they were. They were just regulated all the time. But the spin-off—and this is the unexpected bit—the spin-off, then, was that when we showed that film back in the Gurnos, a relationship developed between those artists and the workers up at the 3Gs development centre, which meant that they have been working with the 3Gs development centre, the artists, in terms of putting together a bid for the arts council for funding for a media centre. So, these unexpected relationships that develop can also produce great spin-offs that you wouldn't necessarily have foreseen, and we certainly wouldn't have seen that at the start.

I think that's really important, the networks that are created, the productive networks. But in terms of the development of skills that perhaps are unexpected and sometimes—. I think Allan Herbert, who presented to you a few weeks ago, really showed how that's difficult to capture, because sometimes it's a long-term thing and you don't see it through one project necessarily, but it's there, and how you capture that is really difficult to know, but it's really important. So, one example that I know of, because we—she was involved in our People's Platform in Merthyr Tydfil that we talked to with National Theatre Wales over some time—. But we worked with a theatre company called Common Wealth, which did the Port Talbot National Theatre Wales production a couple of years ago. But they worked with the community in Wales and with our data to host this People's Platform in the social club and invited a number of policy makers in south Wales. But one of the women who was involved in that had also been involved in the community chorus in Mother Courage, the National Theatre Wales production in Merthyr Tydfil, and she is an amazing person, perhaps has lacked an awful lot of confidence in the past, and she loved working for Mother Courage. And, of course, when the People's Platform came along, it really engaged with her spirit and she found her writing voice. And what I understand now is, a couple of years ago, she was accepted on a degree course for creative writing. Now, I think that's an amazing, powerful story, and you do hear these stories, but it's very difficult to capture those. But, actually, access to those kinds of artistic and creative opportunities I think should be—well, it is, I suppose—a social right. And, you know, not everybody, but, if those opportunities are available, then you may well find people who, in the past, wouldn't have had access or have thought they were able to develop those creative skills. There are ways in which it can happen.

11:25

Diolch. We'll have to extend it by about 10 minutes, if that's okay.

Oh, right. Okay.

So, we'll move on now—diolch, Delyth—to David Melding.

I'd like to follow up, actually, on that access point, because I think it's very important that we concentrate a bit on access, because middle-class people routinely access a very wide range of cultural activity, and often undervalue the extent to which that's subsidised—you know, it's a major thing, a benefit, then. And particularly for the large regional and national organisations it's really important that we look at, 'Well, who is accessing this and what are the barriers that are stopping quite a lot of people from deprived communities having—I think you mentioned—the right to access culture and art that's held at that level?' as well as obviously our need to appreciate what's happening locally in communities. Because to be human is to engage in creative activity; it is unavoidable, it's a happy part of the human condition, but we don't value enough, I think, what is out there. And it's been quite refreshing to hear some of the projects you've been talking about.

But, if we look at the larger institutions, then, you talk about the barrier of fear and unfamiliarity, and, if we look at Fusion, how do you think the regional and national organisations have done through Fusion, and are they improving in terms of reducing this particular barrier? And I thought—again, a very insightful point you made—that we need to look at how—quoting—encounters are mediated. Because I think it's very difficult just to go into the national gallery and then, you know, what do you do? The first time you've ever been in there—it's a wonderful, rich experience, but it can be quite alienating if you're just plonked in there without any preparation or interpretation, and, if there is interpretation, who is doing that? Is that person accessible? Can they relate to your experiences? Anyway, so how do you think—you know, are we on a progressive journey there, or are we still fairly stalled at the front and not really moving?

It's difficult to actually say definitively. I see lots of good things that are happening. There seemed to be a number of questions within that question, so—. Okay, so mediation: one thing that I have felt and I think needs to be recognised more is the value of community anchor organisations, of which South Riverside Community Development Centre is one, of which 3Gs Development Trust is another, of which Action in Caerau and Ely are another. They're organisations that have emerged from the communities of which they're a part, and they act on behalf of their communities, but they have incredible community knowledge. They work with different groups within their local communities, but also other third sector organisations, with the local authority and so on, and the key thing is that they're trusted. So, I think, sometimes—you know, we wouldn't have been able to do what we have done without the involvement of the community organisations, the anchor organisations; you can't just go into a community and expect to know and be able to work with the community. You have to be able to work with organisations that are trusted. And there have been occasions when, you know—. So, the youth centre in Gurnos went to the Sherman Theatre to see Romeo and Juliet—now, they wouldn't have gone otherwise. They wouldn't have gone without the youth leader—Geraldine Maddison at the time—if she hadn't been there. But, from what I heard, they found the experience amazing. They wouldn't have thought that going to the theatre was a thing that they would necessarily do, especially not in Cardiff, but it was enlightening for them. So, that's one thing. And the mediation can be through arts organisations who really have got their foot in different communities too, who have developed those trustful relationships. But it's a slow process. 

In terms of, perhaps, if Fusion's doing it right, I can only speak from the fact that I led one of the Fusion projects right at the beginning, and things may have changed, but one of the things we did find a bit stifling was perhaps the very rigid, it felt, outcomes that were expected and in some cases were unrealistic. We felt sometimes, and the organisations actually—and I won't say which because it's not my job to do that—also felt it restrictive, because they were expected to show how brilliantly they'd done in ways that were not possible. Because, you know, if people are getting training, for instance, in digital archiving, it takes time for those kind of courses to bed in, and you can't expect change or people to—. We were asked, 'Well, have people had any apprenticeships, have they had a job?' or whatever after six months or something, and actually it's not about that, and that creates a kind of—. It stifles creativity, it stifles innovation, and I don't know if things have changed.

One thing that did happen, and I think it's in here—after we no longer led the Fusion project locally, many of the organisations, the community organisations and the artists and people working in heritage, still wanted to network, and so we still have a network, which we call the cultural participation research network. We meet four times a year, and it's very fluid, but very productive, and relationships and new funding opportunities are emerging from that. I know you need accountability, I know you need to show how public money is working, but I think you need to look at the impact of the kind of ways in which you're looking at it, because the ways in which you're looking at the outcomes can actually have an impact itself, and, as I say, stifle the kind of changes that you're actually wanting. I think it's a difficult problem, but I think it needs to be looked at. But Fusion has created very interesting and productive relationships.

11:30

You mentioned earlier you thought that the St Fagans development had gone well. Are they mediating that more effectively? You did mention—or one of you did, anyway—the connections to local groups, because they're obviously quite close to Ely, for instance, which has many deprived areas.

Yes. Well, from what I've seen—and I'm not an authority; I encounter and see what the museum is doing also through the memorandum of understanding that Cardiff University has with the museum, so I do see the ways in which they're working are—. Again, I'm sure that there are problems and nothing's perfect. It takes a long time for the tanker to change direction, but I do see a lot of really good work that the museum is doing in terms of engaging with communities. And they're very responsive, I think, and they are listening and they're reflective in what they do. 

11:35

Could I just add—?

Yes. One of my colleagues at Bristol has this phrase, which says that we should allow ourselves honourable failures, and I think we tend to think that failures are a problem, but in fact we learn an awful lot from our failures. In fact, in my own personal experience, I probably learn more from failures than things going properly, because, when something goes wrong, you have to analyse why and out of that can come new creativities. So, it's just going back to the point about risk taking and the point about not being driven by, or not asking everybody to be driven by, outputs all the time. Yes, as you've said, it's important that we are accountable, but we can be accountable in different ways and, as I said, I think the things that don't necessarily seem to work actually can then go off in a different direction and produce something quite creative. 

Yes. After all, we don't want our communities or our cultural organisations to feel that they've failed when they're actually trying to do something that's really innovative. It's how you deal with those things that go a bit wrong that's important. 

Okay, but there are some exceptional examples. You mentioned the Caerau project, which I've visited twice, and that's the level of ambition we need, I think, from national bodies in my own view. And if it can work at that level, which is—you know, it's absolutely cutting edge. For me, anyway, that's what real engagement and participation would be, and we need more of it. 

Yes, and opportunities for them to network as well. 

Absolutely. They benefit—as you said earlier, the national bodies benefit hugely from that, and that's a key part of it. 

Just a very focused question, in conclusion, as I asked a very wide-ranging one initially: you said about the importance of anchor organisations, you've emphasised real presence in the community and that this business of popping into a locality, doing a magnificent performance and then, at the end, out el pronto is not a good model. We've heard from several witnesses that one thing the Fusion project has demonstrated, in their view, is the need for co-ordinators, and if that's weakened—and the model, we wait to see whether they will proceed with that and sustain it—. So, is that your view also, that the co-ordinators are and would remain key in any Fusion concept?

I think so. Co-ordinators, people who can bring partners together, work with partners—I think that's crucial. It's those core roles that are often overlooked and never funded. I think it's important just in the way in which the creative learning programme as well worked with those creative co-ordinators—I can't remember; creative agents, whatever they were called. I think it's really crucial. When I was leading Fusion, we didn't have the resources for a co-ordinator. I think that came afterwards, but I think that role is really important, actually. So, I would hope that that role would continue. But, as I say, I haven't been involved in Fusion for some time, so I'm probably not the best person to ask, but from what I've seen—.

I suppose, just talking more broadly, because I don't know, I haven't been experienced in the Fusion programme, it's the need to have people who are not just focused on a specific project. So, our engagement with the communities that we engaged with worked because there were people who were able to say, 'Yes, this is an important part of our work, and I can engage with it.' But, if everybody in an organisation is funded for a specific project, then how do you innovate, in a way? You have to have people there. So, it's not just co-ordinators, it's the people there who have the resources, have the time to be able to think forward and take things forward.

11:40

Okay. I'm afraid—I know other people had questions, but that's all we have time for. If there are any additional issues that you have in relation to the evaluation that you haven't felt you've said here, or in your papers, then please do feel free to communicate with us, because that was the area that we've—well, I think we've covered it a lot.

Could I say just one final thing? I hope that some of you managed to see the arts installation that we had in the Senedd at the end of November, until recess, with these huge figures—about 7 ft tall, 31 figures, which you couldn't have missed, actually. I don't know if you went round with the headphones as well. But that was from Productive Margins, and it's a fantastic example of working with artists and local communities, to voice something that's important to the communities themselves, but does it in a way that's really powerful, and emotionally and intellectually engaging, I think.

Thank you. It's been really inspiring to hear about all the different projects. And the detail that you've brought to the evidence has really helped us understand it, in a live way. So, we appreciate that. If there are any opportunities Members would want to take up to visit any of them, then please help us facilitate that—we always want to get out and about. So, thank you very much. Diolch yn fawr iawn.

And thank you for giving us the time to talk about our projects and our work.

4. Papurau i’w nodi
4. Paper(s) to note

Symud ymlaen nawr at y papurau i'w nodi. Dwi eisiau jest trafod rhai ohonyn nhw yn gyhoeddus, os yn bosib. Eitem 4.1, gohebiaeth â'r Dirprwy Weinidog Diwylliant, Chwaraeon a Thwristiaeth ynghylch radio yng Nghymru. Yn y llythyr yna, mae'n dweud, fel y dywedwyd yn gynharach mewn cyfathrebiaeth gan Dafydd Elis-Thomas, bod angen creu achos cryf i ddangos gwerth ailgyflwyno'r gronfa radio. Ond hyd y gwn i does dim diffiniad o beth yw 'achos cryf' gan y Gweinidog. Ac felly, cyn i ni gael ein symposiwm ni ar radio cymunedol, roeddwn i'n meddwl efallai y gallem ni ysgrifennu yn ôl ato fe, i ofyn, er mwyn ein helpu ni i drafod hyn yn y symposiwm, beth yw yr achos cryf sydd angen cael ei wneud er mwyn ariannu'r gronfa yma eto, os yw hynny'n bosib. Felly, ydy pobl yn hapus i ni ysgrifennu ar hynny? Ac wedyn gallwn ni godi popeth arall yn y llythyr yn y symposiwm gyda phobl yn y sector radio. Diolch yn fawr iawn.

Wedyn mae yna ohebiaeth â Llywodraeth Cymru ynghylch safonau'r Gymraeg. Wedyn mae yna eitem gan CBAC ac Estyn ynglŷn ag addysgu hanes a diwylliant Cymru mewn ysgolion. Roeddwn i'n meddwl efallai y gallem ni drafod hyn yn breifat, yng nghyd-destun y ffaith bod y cwricwlwm newydd wedi dod mas yr wythnos yma, a beth dŷn ni eisiau ei wneud fel pwyllgor wrth symud ymlaen gyda'n gwaith ni ar hyn, os yw pawb yn hapus i wneud hynny. Diolch.

Wedyn eitem 4.5, gohebiaeth â'r BBC ynghylch cynllun blynyddol y BBC. Ac roedd hwn o ran newid y cyfranogiad o beth mae'n nhw'n ei wneud ar y radio o ran llafar yn y boreau. Rwy'n siŵr eich bod chi wedi gweld bod Llywodraeth Cymru wedi cwrdd ag Ofcom ddoe, ac wedi hefyd gysylltu â'r BBC. Yn ein llythyr nôl oddi wrth y BBC yng Nghymru, dŷn ni wedi clywed nad oes ganddyn nhw y bwriad i newid yr hyn sydd yn digwydd yng Nghymru, ond wedyn, eto, mae'n nhw'n mynd i fod yn rhan o gais i Ofcom i'w newid e, oherwydd efallai fod ardaloedd eraill o'r Deyrnas Unedig eisiau gwneud hynny. Roeddwn i'n meddwl efallai y gallem ni ysgrifennu at gyfarwyddwr y cenhedloedd a'r rhanbarthau, sydd yn gyfrifol am hyn, i ofyn a fyddai modd i gymryd Cymru allan o'r cynllun i newid y lefelau llafar yn yr bore, os nad oes gan Gymru unrhyw fath o fwriad i newid eu cynlluniau i lastwreiddio'r hyn y mae'n nhw'n ei wneud o ran llafar yn y bore. Felly, ydy pobl yn hapus i ni wneud hynny, ac a oes unrhyw beth arall dŷch chi'n meddwl y dylem ni ei wneud? Hapus? Roeddwn i’n meddwl peidio â gofyn i Ofcom eto achos does dim—beth yw application yn Gymraeg?

We will therefore move on to the papers to note. I want to discuss a few of them in public session, if possible. Item 4.1, correspondence with the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism regarding radio in Wales. In that letter, he states, as was said earlier in correspondence with Dafydd Elis-Thomas, that we need to create a strong case to show the value of reintroducing the radio fund. Now, as far as I know, there is no definition of what a strong case would look like. So, before we have our symposium on community radio, I thought perhaps we could write back to him, and ask, in order to assist us to discuss this at the symposium, what would constitute a strong case, in order to re-establish this fund, if that were to be possible. So, are people happy for me to write in those terms? And then anything else in the letter we can raise in the symposium with the people in the radio sector. Thank you very much.

Then there is correspondence with the Welsh Government regarding the Welsh language standards. Then there is correspondence with the WJEC and Estyn regarding the teaching of Welsh history and culture in schools. I thought perhaps we could discuss that in private session, in the context of the fact that the new curriculum has been launched this week, and we want to consider what we as a committee will want to do in progressing with our work here, if you're all content with that. Thank you.

Then item 4.5, correspondence with the BBC regarding the BBC annual plan. And this was related to participation in terms of what they were producing in the mornings on the radio. You will see that the Welsh Government met with Ofcom yesterday, and has also been in touch with the BBC. Now, in our letter from the BBC in Wales, we have heard that they have no intention to change their proposals in Wales, but again they are going to be part of an application to Ofcom, to make changes, because other parts of the UK may want to do that. Now, I thought that perhaps we could write to the director for the nations and regions, who is responsible for this, to ask whether we could remove Wales from the proposals to change the level of news outputs in the morning, if Wales has no intention of changing its plans in terms of downgrading what they do in terms of oral output in the morning. Are people happy for us to do that, and is there anything else that you think we should do? Are you content? I thought that we wouldn't need to ask Ofcom again because no—what is 'application' in Welsh?

Cais. Does dim llythyr wedi mynd at Ofcom eto. Felly, ffocysu ar y BBC ar hyn o bryd. Diolch.

Eitem 4.6 wedyn, tystiolaeth ychwanegol gan Age Cymru. Oes unrhyw beth arall gan Aelodau i'w ddweud ar hynny? Iawn.

Felly symud ymlaen wedyn at eitem 4.7, gohebiaeth â Llywodraeth Cymru ynghylch addysgu hanes a diwylliant Cymru mewn ysgolion. Eto, fe wnawn ni drafod hynny yn breifat.

Cais. No application has been made to Ofcom as yet. So, I think we should focus on the BBC for the time being. Thank you.

Item 4.6, additional evidence from Age Cymru. Anything else that Members have to say on that? Okay.

We move on, therefore, to item 4.7, correspondence with the Welsh Government regarding the teaching of Welsh history and culture in schools. Once again, we'll discuss that in private session.

11:45
5. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42(vi) i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod
5. Motion under Standing Order 17.42(vi) to resolve to exclude the public from the meeting for the remainder of the meeting

Cynnig:

bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42(vi).

Motion:

that the committee resolves to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(vi).

Cynigiwyd y cynnig.

Motion moved.

Eitem 5: cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 i wahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod. Ydy pawb yn hapus â hynny?

Item 5, motion under Standing Order 17.42 to resolve to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting. Are Members content?

Derbyniwyd y cynnig.

Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 11:45.

Motion agreed.

The public part of the meeting ended at 11:45.

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