Thirty-two arts organisations across Wales will have their regular funding axed next year in the first phase of a wide-ranging funding review announced by Arts Council Wales yesterday.
Newport Museum and Art Gallery, the North Wales International Music Festival, Swansea Festival of Music and the Arts and the Film Agency for Wales – the country's only professional moving image agency – will have their revenue cut from March 2011 in a move which will save £3.6 million from the Council's annual £24 million investment.
The funding body is now waiting to find out how much the Welsh Assembly Government will allocate to it next year as it bids to support a further 71 organisations across Wales. A decision is expected in December 2010, and the groups who have lost their funding will be able to apply for project grants.
ACW Chair Dai Smith said the move had "never been about cuts" and had focused on "using taxpayer's money well."
"We've looked carefully at what we can support," he argued. "We started this process a long time ago. We're not using the worsening economic climate as a convenient excuse, nor are we deflecting responsibility onto potential government funding cuts.
"We're taking bold decisions to ensure that the best of the arts in Wales thrives in the future.
"By making clear our priorities, investing funds where they’re most needed and deserved, we're setting the foundations for the longer-term success of the arts."