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Thursday 22nd November 2012 | 16:02
Welsh Government press release
Housing Regeneration and Heritage Minister Huw Lewis today announced over £2.9m of funding to support the development of local Welsh museums, archives and libraries over the next financial year.
The Minister is inviting applications for a share of £1m capital funding through the Community Learning Libraries grant programme to transform public libraries across Wales. Since the scheme was established in 2007, 84 libraries have received grants to create a modern and attractive environment with flexible space for community activities and improved ICT. Visitor figures collected by the libraries show that the programme has been successful in attracting more people, particularly young children, to visit their local library.
£1.16m of revenue funding will be available for local museums, archives and libraries through the Welsh Government’s Innovation and Development grant programme, administered by CyMAL: Museums Archives and Libraries division. It aims to develop, promote access to and encourage the use of the rich and diverse collections on offer at museums, archives and libraries.
The Minister announced the funding following a visit to Bodelwyddan Castle to see the Arteffact project, funded by an Innovation and Development grant, to help museums and galleries to assist people with mental health issues.
The project is led by the Bodelwyddan Castle Trust, which works with a cluster of museums in north Wales. It offers a service that is tailored to reduce symptoms of mental distress through creative engagement. The project is researching whether additional benefits (beyond simply participating in arts activities) can be achieved through engaging creatively with museum collections and spending time in the museum environment.
Huw Lewis said: “Both the Welsh Government’s Community Learning Libraries and the Innovation and Development grant programmes provide invaluable support for our museums, archives and libraries, helping them to develop their services, encourage greater use by the public and make a real difference to people’s lives.
“The library modernisation projects help to regenerate communities and provide a welcome boost for the economy by creating much needed employment and training opportunities, with much of the construction work being carried out by local companies which in turn use the local supply chain."
A further £758,000 will be invested in strategic projects that will promote greater collaboration on an all-Wales and regional projects. This funding will also be used to provide match funding to secure further funding from partners such as the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Manuscripts Conservation Trust to help conserve and promote access to our cultural heritage.