Pwyllgor Diwylliant, Cyfathrebu, y Gymraeg, Chwaraeon, a Chysylltiadau Rhyngwladol

Culture, Communications, Welsh Language, Sport, and International Relations Committee

24/11/2021

Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol

Committee Members in Attendance

Alun Davies AS
Carolyn Thomas AS
Delyth Jewell AS Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor
Committee Chair
Hefin David AS
Heledd Fychan AS
Tom Giffard AS

Y rhai eraill a oedd yn bresennol

Others in Attendance

Clara Cullen Yr Ymddiriedolaeth Lleoliadau Cerddoriaeth
Music Venues Trust
Diane Hebb Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru
Arts Council of Wales
Dyfrig Davies TAC
TAC
Gillian Mitchell Celfyddydau Cenedlaethol Ieuenctid Cymru
National Youth Arts Wales
Lorne Campbell National Theatre Wales
National Theatre Wales
Louise Miles-Payne Creu Cymru
Creu Cymru
Pauline Burt Ffilm Cymru
Ffilm Cymru
Rebecca Nelson Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru
Arts Council of Wales
Sara Pepper Prifysgol Caerdydd
Cardiff University

Swyddogion y Senedd a oedd yn bresennol

Senedd Officials in Attendance

Lleu Williams Clerc
Clerk
Martha Da Gama Howells Ail Glerc
Second Clerk
Tanwen Summers Dirprwy Glerc
Deputy 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.

Cyfarfu’r pwyllgor yn y Senedd a thrwy gynhadledd fideo.

Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:30.

The committee met in the Senedd and by video-conference.

The meeting began at 09:30.

1. Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau a dirprwyon
1. Introductions, apologies and substitutions

Bore da. Hoffwn eich croesawu chi a'r Aelodau i'r cyfarfod hwn o'r Pwyllgor Diwylliant, Cyfathrebu, y Gymraeg, Chwaraeon a Chysylltiadau Rhyngwladol. Yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 34.19, rwyf wedi penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o gyfarfod y pwyllgor er mwyn diogelu iechyd y cyhoedd. Mae'r cyfarfod hwn yn cael ei ddarlledu'n fyw ar Senedd.tv, ac mae rhai o'n Haelodau ni a'n tystion y bore yma yn ymuno â ni drwy gyswllt fideo. Oes gan unrhyw Aelodau unrhyw fuddiannau i'w datgan? Dwi ddim yn gweld unrhyw Aelod yn dweud bod gyda nhw fuddiannau i'w datgan.

Good morning. I'd like to welcome everyone to this meeting of the Culture, Communications, Welsh Language, Sport, and International Relations Committee. In accordance with Standing Order 34.19, I have determined that the public are excluded from attending the committee's meeting in order to protect public health. This meeting is being broadcast live on Senedd.tv, and some of our Members and witnesses this morning are joining us via video-conference. Do any Members have any declarations of interest to make? I don't see that there are any.

2. Ymchwiliad undydd ar y diwydiannau celfyddydau a chreadigol
2. One day inquiry on arts and creative industries

Felly, fe wnawn ni symud ymlaen at eitem 2, sef ymchwiliad undydd i'r celfyddydau a'r diwydiannau creadigol. Gaf i ofyn i'r tystion i gyflwyno eu hunain? Ar gyfer y sesiwn yma, fe wnaf i ofyn i'r tystion yn yr ystafell i gyflwyno eu hunain yn gyntaf, ac am yr ail sesiwn fe wnaf i fynd at y rhai ar-lein yn gyntaf. Fe wnaf i fynd at Louise yn gyntaf.

So, we'll move onto item 2, which is a one-day inquiry on arts and creative industries. May I ask the witnesses to introduce themselves? For this session, I'll ask for the witnesses in the room to introduce themselves first, and for the second I'll go to those online. But, first of all, I'll go to Louise, please.

Bore da. My name is Louise Miles-Payne, I'm the director of Creu Cymru.

Good morning. I'm Diane Hebb, I'm director of arts engagement at the Arts Council of Wales.

Morning. I'm Rebecca Nelson, I'm the director of finance at the Arts Council of Wales.

Croeso nôl i rai ohonoch chi hefyd. Ac fe wnaf i fynd at Gillian Mitchell.

Welcome back to some of you as well. I'll go to Gillian Mitchell.

Bore da—good morning. I'm Gillian Mitchell, I'm the chief executive of National Youth Arts Wales.

Bore da—good morning. My name's Lorne Campbell, I'm the artistic director and chief executive of National Theatre Wales.

Ffantastig. Mae'n hyfryd i gael chi i gyd gyda ni. Fe wnawn ni symud yn syth at gwestiynau, a'r Aelod cyntaf yn gofyn cwestiynau y bore yma yw Tom Giffard.

Fantastic. It's wonderful to have you with us this morning. We'll move straight to questions, and the first questions are from Tom Giffard.

Hello there, good morning, everybody. Just before we start, I couldn't completely hear all the witnesses in the room. I don't know if it's a microphone thing, but it wasn't super clear.

Thanks for that, Tom. Could I ask the witnesses, could you check if the—? Oh, no, I think the lights have come on.

The lights are on now, yes.

The lights are on now. Right, if it's a problem again, Tom, let us know.

Brilliant. Yes, no problem. So, I wanted to start this morning by asking you all about Wales's place in the world, and how you see your sector should be used to promote Wales to the world.

Shall we start, from the arts council?

So, Arts Council of Wales, obviously we've got a department, Wales Arts International, which has been instrumental in terms of working with the Welsh Government in promoting Wales abroad in terms of our artists and our work, and also bringing artists into Wales to support our cultural sector. I think there's a question later on about international travel and the impact of COVID and Brexit, so, Chair, perhaps I'll take that then. I don't know if my colleague Diane wants to add anything.

I think it's really important, as Members will be aware, Wales Arts International and the work that we've done through Wales Arts International has been really instrumental in raising the profile of Wales, and the cultural life of Wales, in many places internationally, and it's really important that we find a way to continue to do that. We can provide examples at some point, if that's what you would like us to do. We continue to prioritise that work moving forward, but we have to find a way of doing that, obviously, in light of everything that we've experienced over the last couple of years.

Diolch am hynna. Dylwn i wedi dweud, os oes unrhyw un eisiau ychwanegu, byddwn ni ddim efallai'n dod at bob person ar gyfer pob cwestiwn, os dŷch chi'n gallu jest codi llaw.

Thank you for that. I'll also say, if anybody wants to add anything at all, I won't be able to come to everyone for every question, but do, please, raise your hand if you want to contribute. 

And the same thing for people in the room.

Os ma unrhyw un eisiau—. So, Gillian.

If anyone wants to—. So, Gillian.

Hi. In terms of the national youth ensembles and how Wales is seen in the world, I think it's critically important. Some of you know that the National Youth Orchestra of Wales has just celebrated its seventy-fifth anniversary, and we're the oldest youth orchestra in the world, and quite often collaborate with other youth orchestras globally and within Europe. As well as that, many of the National Youth Arts Wales alumni, particularly in theatre and music, those kind of global household names and acting, are all alumni of our national youth ensembles, so critical in terms of those kinds of—where somebody starts and where somebody ends their journey, and, as a result, become ambassadors for Wales around the world. Just currently, at the moment, although there are lots and lots of challenges, we've used the digital format to bring forward a collaboration, supported by the British Council, with National Youth Theatre Wales's young people and young people in Malawi, who are working on a digital project together, and one of the things that they both want to address, particularly our young Welsh people, is about how Wales is viewed externally as a nation.

09:35

Oni bai bod rhywun arall eisiau ychwanegu, gwnawn ni fynd nôl at Tom. Tom.

Unless anybody else wants to add something, we'll go back to Tom. Tom.

I think Diane mentioned about specific examples of the work that you're doing in that sector, so I'm quite keen to learn a bit more about that, but maybe that's something, if you're happy, Chair, that is done in writing, perhaps, after the—. Because I'm conscious of time and making sure everybody has their chance to say. But I am curious at the other comment—I apologise, I can't remember who said it—about dealing with the difficulties of everything you've been through in prioritising this work, to paraphrase. So, is there any additional support that you feel Welsh Government could be providing to assist you with that kind of work?

I think that's a very interesting question. Yes, we're obviously getting our heads around the situation in terms of COVID and how that's going to impact on international working. There could very well be resource implications, financial implications, moving forward with that. We're doing some very interesting work—Wales Arts International are leading a programme of work with the other arts councils across the UK, looking at all of this in some detail. As Rebecca said, the other area that we're really just starting to feel the impact of, of course, is Brexit, and it's the impact of COVID at the moment that we're really looking at, but we're starting to feel the impact of Brexit as well, and beginning to understand what that might look like. But that is going to have implications, again, in terms of the kinds of resources and finances needed to continue to do this sort of work.

I know that Alun wants to come in with a supplementary. Did you want to come in at this point, or did you want to wait?

In answer to Tom's first question, you said, talking about the arts council, that you work with the Welsh Government on international issues. I'd like to understand more about that relationship. Does the Welsh Government set targets for you, do they fund those targets? Do you suggest what targets should be set to the Welsh Government? Do you suggest a programme to Welsh Government? Does Welsh Government suggest it to you? Who is the part of that relationship that sets the agenda and to what extent are you held to account for the delivery of that agenda?

If I could just take that question, Wales Arts International is part of the Arts Council of Wales, which is an independent charity, so in terms of setting an agenda and setting a strategy, it's very much with our council and our trustees. However, we do, obviously, work with Welsh Government as our primary funder, and our relationship at the moment is very project based, so that Welsh Government—for instance, the infopoint project, which we'll talk about later, is Welsh Government funded, but that looks at supporting artists through changes and transitions with Brexit as an example. There'll be other discrete work that we'll do with Welsh Government, but I don't think there's anything—there's no strategic or joint strategy. Strategy is very much at the council level, if I'm right. Diane, would you agree?

I suppose in terms of targets, that's very much centred on the project, so there'll be a number of targets—

No, by the Welsh Government, as part of the funding agreement, so as part of a grant letter, like any grant, you would have some conditions and there would be targets set as part of that.

I seem to remember you—correct me if I'm wrong—saying that you'd contributed to the Welsh Government's international strategy. 

And I'm interested in that, because your response to the question I've just asked would indicate a tension, shall we say, because that strategy was all proactive, looking forward, setting strategies for the future, and what you've just said is that you would work on a more project-by-project basis. I'm just wondering where that relationship lies, then, because when we examined the international strategy—in the last Senedd, I think, if I remember rightly—the Minister told us then that there were very clear ambitions and objectives set for Wales internationally and that the 'arts' were a critical part of that, so I would have expected you to have taken a more strategic view of those matters.

09:40

I wouldn't say there was a tension. I think we work very closely with Welsh Government—

Okay, so I would say there wasn't.

But I just wanted to just clarify the corporate governance around our two organisations. So, we very much work with Welsh Government, but we don't work on behalf of Welsh Government unless there's a strategic programme of work that we've been given to do.

Can I check—? Before I bring Diane in—oh, sorry, Diane, did you want to add something to that?

Yes, I think Rebecca's right. But I would say it's all of those things that you said. We do work very strategically—

It can't be all of those things; I asked you an either/or question.

Well, we do work very strategically with our partners in Welsh Government. So, the cultural part of international working that they do, we're very much at the heart of that, but at the same time, there are other programmes and projects of work that we are leading and we're taking forward that aren't necessarily part of that relationship. So, we do both. We do do both. 

Louise or Gillian or Lorne, was there anything that you wanted to add either to what Alun's been asking or to what Tom had asked originally?

Oh, if you could put the mike—just press the one—the other button, I think. The button on the right. 

But you are saying that it would be good for people to write to us with examples.

It would be really—just to bring it to life a bit more. As a new member of the committee, it would be really good. So, then you understand the background as well of what you fund.

Carolyn is just saying—because her mike isn't working—that it would be good if there are any examples you'd like to write to the committee with, that would be useful. Tom, was anything you wanted to come back on?

Okay.

Iawn, grêt. Wnawn ni symud ymlaen at Hefin David.

Great. We'll move on to Hefin David.

A gaf i ofyn yn Gymraeg, os gwelwch yn dda? Bydd y cyfieithwyr yn synnu. Beth ddylai'r pwyllgor ei flaenoriaethu ar gyfer y pum mlynedd nesaf?

I will ask my questions in Welsh—just so that I don't surprise our interpreters too much. What should the committee prioritise for the next five years?

Pwy sydd eisiau mynd yn gyntaf gyda hyn? Louise.

Who wants to go first with this question? Louise.

I'll jump in. I mean, obviously, we've mentioned the two biggest issues facing the sector at the moment, and that is recovery post COVID and the impact of Brexit. Like Diane mentioned, we're only just beginning to see what impacts Brexit's going to have, because we're just coming out of the last 18 months, so I think that the main message is that we are not back to normal and at this point, we can't see the next year being near normal either, in terms of recovery, so priorities would be a continued support for the sector, and at the same time, looking at those implications from Brexit and how the committee could support issues that are going to arise from that.

Oes unrhyw un eisiau ychwanegu i hwnna? Diane.

Does anybody want to add something? Diane.

And then I'll come to Lorne. Sorry, I saw your hand up. I'll go to Diane, then Lorne, then Gillian.

So, in terms of priorities, and moving forward, I absolutely agree with what Louise has said. I think recovery from COVID is a continuing issue for us and for the sector as a whole. For the organisations—I think particularly the venues sector, but not exclusively the venues sector, but for organisations—recovering, and that isn't going to be a kind of immediate fix. I think we really need to do some thinking and some planning that is longer term. We're thinking around 12 to 18 months to try and recover, but of course that depends how COVID continues, and the continued impact of COVID. I think as well what we're really starting to see at the moment is a real impact in terms of freelancers. I think, through COVID, we learnt just how critical freelancers are to the cultural sector, and what we're seeing at the moment are real issues around recruitment and appointment, and identifying and finding freelancers to do work—creative freelancers, but particularly freelancers who have those kinds of technical skills to support the industry. I know venues are struggling with hospitality as well. So, there is a real concern at the minute about freelancers and where our freelancers have gone, and how we can build confidence amongst freelancers to bring them back into the industry.72

I think we mentioned when we were here before—we had a conversation about widening engagement. That has to continue to be a key priority moving forward, widening engagement both in terms of our equalities agenda, but also our Welsh language agenda. So, it's really important that we start to drive forward our plans coming out of the work that we've been doing, and, for us, a priority is moving forward with our investment review, and that might be something that the committee want to be talking to us about as we move forward in the future. We have postponed it, as committee are aware, and we want to take this opportunity now to do some creative thinking about what a portfolio—arts portfolio—actually means in Wales, so that, when we're at the point of moving forward again with an investment review, we've done some real, creative thinking about what's actually needed in light of COVID and other impacts that we've experienced in the sector.

09:45

Diane, forgive me for interrupting. 

Gillian a Lorne, cyn i ni ddod atoch chi, mae Heledd Fychan eisiau dod mewn ar rywbeth yn gysylltiedig â rhywbeth mae Diane wedi dweud, dwi'n meddwl. Heledd. 

Gillian and Lorne, before I come to you, Heledd Fychan wants to come in on something connected to what Diane has said, I think. Heledd.

Gan fod Diane wedi crybwyll yn barod yr adroddiadau ar ehangu ymgysylltiad, byddwn i'n hoffi gwybod os oes yna unrhyw ddiweddariad o ran y camau nesaf gan y cyngor celfyddydau ac Amgueddfa Cymru. Yn amlwg, tro diwethaf roeddech chi yma, gwnaethon ni nodi bod y tri adroddiad wedi cael eu croesawu gan y cyngor. Felly, ydych chi'n gwybod eto sut bydd yr adroddiadau hyn yn dylanwadu ar yr adolygiad buddsoddi, a hefyd oes yna drafodaethau pellach wedi bod am y ffaith eich bod chi wedi croesawu'r adroddiadau yn sgil y sylwadau penodol am yr iaith Gymraeg ynddyn nhw?

As Diane has already mentioned the reports on expanding engagement, I would like to know whether there is any update in terms of the next steps from the arts council and Amgueddfa Cymru, the national museum. Last time you were here we noted that the three reports had been welcomed by the arts council, so do you know yet how these reports will influence the investment review, and have there been further discussions on the fact that you have welcomed these reports following on from the specific comments on the Welsh language in those reports as well?

Yes, we and the museum have continued to work very closely together on developing a plan. We're much closer to a plan that really takes forward those actions, those recommendations and demands within the report that we are able to take forward. I think, as we know, there are some expectations articulated in some of those plans that we can't take forward for a number of different reasons. We will refer to that when we publish. We are a lot closer. We have—. I think we have a meeting—we do have a meeting—with the Deputy Minister and advisers in a couple of weeks' time to talk through where we are with the plan, to talk about the plan, and then at some point after that we will be publishing our plan. We were hopeful that we would be doing that before Christmas. Realistically, it could now well be at the very start of the year. 

We are very clear in our plan around our commitment to Welsh language. We're also very clear in the plan about working to bring all of those agendas together as we move forward. 

Rwy'n meddwl bod Heledd eisiau dod nôl. Rwy'n awyddus i ddod nôl at Hefin ar ôl hwnna, ond Heledd.

I think that Heledd wants to come back in. We'll come back to Hefin after that. 

Yes, I just want to pick up on the word Diane used in terms of 'can't', because 'can't' can mean that you're restricted by Government policy, for instance with Welsh language, or is this a matter that, actually, it's a matter that you've decided you don't agree with some of those demands or actions. I'm just quite interested to see if there's been discussion about where things stand with your own values, rather than being restricted to what you think you can't perhaps do. I'm just quite interested in that word 'can't', rather than how it stems in terms of your strategic vision for Arts Council of Wales and your funding. 

09:50

I think 'can't' is because of reasons to do with employment law, for example. So, there were one or two demands on us that, were we to agree to those, we'd be contravening employment law. It's purely and simply those kinds of areas where we're talking 'can't'—not in relation to Welsh language, I have to say, but in relation to other askings and disclosures and such like that employment law prevents us from doing. So, it's really—. Those are the 'can'ts'. We will explain that. But, other demands and recommendations, we're very clear about finding ways to drive those forward. We are listening, we are hearing the voices that have been consulted around this work, and, wherever possible, we are driving that forward. 

Diane, when you are in a position to publish that work, it would be great if we could have a copy to this committee, please. 

Thank you. 

Nawr, Lorne a Gillian, diolch am eich amynedd. Roedd Hefin wedi gofyn pa flaenoriaethau rydych chi'n meddwl dylen ni fod yn eu hystyried fel pwyllgor. Dyna beth roeddech chi wedi ei ofyn yn gyntaf, onid oedd e, Hefin? 

Lorne and Gillian, thank you for being so patient. Hefin had asked about the priorities that you think we should be considering as a committee. That's what you asked, wasn't it, Hefin? 

Beth ddylai Llywodraeth Cymru flaenoriaethu yn y dyfodol, ac a oes gennych chi unrhyw flaenoriaethau penodol ar gyfer cyllideb ddrafft Llywodraeth Cymru, sydd ar ddod? 

What do you think the Welsh Government should prioritise for the future, and do you have any specific priorities for the Welsh Government's forthcoming draft budget? 

Lorne a Gillian, os ydyn ni'n gallu dod yn gyntaf atoch chi gyda hynny, ynglŷn ag os ydych chi eisiau ychwanegu pethau at beth dŷn ni wedi ei drafod yn barod, a hefyd ar beth mae Hefin wedi dod mewn ag ef nawr hefyd, os ydych chi eisiau. Pwy sydd eisiau mynd yn gyntaf ar-lein? Lorne, ocê.

Lorne and Gillian, if we could come first to you with that question, and, if you wanted to add something to the previous discussion as well, and the question that Hefin just asked as well. So, who wants to go first online? Lorne, okay.   

I think how we—and this relates a little bit to the first question asked as well about the role of culture more widely—. The way we celebrate what is strongest within Welsh cultural practice, the relationship to community, which—. As we look out internationally at the moment, across the globe, sectors are trying to understand how they work in more fundamental, co-creative ways with their community, and the space that culture and cultural practice can play in well-being, in cohesion, in the evolution of understanding of identity, and Wales is in a wonderful place to really present itself as a global leader in this section.

The way that we work with young people in holding cultural organisations to even closer scrutiny around our delivery against the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 goals I think is critical, and, deeply intertwined with that, our relationship to climate emergency and how we're developing carbon neutral or carbon-positive models for the creation, for the touring, for the presentation of work both domestically and internationally. 

I think that role of artists and arts organisations in the recovery of the nation, of course economically, but also with a huge focus on well-being and the understanding that culture and cultural practice is a fundamental tool in that challenge and in the coming out of the pandemic, and also looking at the implications of Brexit—there's huge work to be done in that. That, in turn, leads us to looking at how we prioritise anti-discrimination, social justice, anti-racism, anti-ableism and tackling poverty, and the barriers and blocks to all kinds of access, including cultural experience and cultural provision, that are wrapped up in there as well.  

Diolch, Lorne, a Gillian, a oedd gennych chi unrhyw beth roeddech chi eisiau ychwanegu? 

Thank you, and Gillian, did you have anything to add? 

Yes, I would echo in particular what Diane and Louise said, that the emphasis on recovery is absolutely critical, and that quite often means financial recovery. But also, for us, there are a few very specific areas that we are already seeing. Because we're working with young people, some of these issues, I suppose, are for education. For example, we are supportive of the plan for a unified music service across Wales, as long as it addresses the barriers to participation that aren't just financial, but also about participation from young people who are from black, Asian and global majority communities, because that's the only way we're going to shape the future workforce in the arts sector, but we'd like to see the equivalent for other art forms, particularly for theatre and dance. We're really, really concerned about the attainment gap. Most of our young people have not had a formal music lesson or a music experience or dance or theatre training for 18 months, and we're going to see the consequence of that in the longer term. And I think, coupled with that, what we're starting to hear from secondary school teachers is that the numbers of young people choosing arts subjects are already down. We knew that they were down prior to COVID in music, but we're starting to see the effect in theatre and dance. So, that has a really critical knock-on impact with the future workforce in Wales in the arts and creative industries. And the arts sector feeds a lot of what happens in film and television, so I think there is a wider impact of concern there.

So, I think as far as Welsh Government and this committee are concerned, we would really like to see a stronger emphasis on arts and culture as a viable career opportunity. We'd like to see—again, I'm not sure who this sits with—things like the consideration of a formal apprenticeship scheme for the arts. But there's a real issue around Welsh language. We run a lot of our ensembles and projects bilingually, and, for our young people who have Welsh as a second language or are learning through Welsh medium but aren't living in a household where Welsh is spoken, they've almost gone backwards in terms of their confidence. So, we're really concerned. They're telling us that that's a real concern about their ability to participate in our projects and ensembles, and that, inevitably, has a knock-on impact on the cultural sector as a whole and, again, the future workforce that comes out of what we do.

09:55

Diolch, Gillian. Cyn i fi ddod â'r tystion yn yr ystafell i mewn—. Hefin, gwnawn ni ofyn i'r tystion yn yr ystafell am y blaenoriaethau am gyllideb Llywodraeth Cymru, fel yr oeddech chi wedi gofyn. Oedd yna unrhyw beth arall roeddech chi eisiau ychwanegu at hwnna cyn i fi ofyn i'r tystion yn yr ystafell, neu ydych chi'n hapus? Grêt. Ocê, so, o ran cwestiwn olaf Hefin, oes gennych chi unrhyw awgrymiadau o beth y byddwch chi'n hoffi i Lywodraeth Cymru fod yn ei ystyried ynglŷn â'r gyllideb? Oes gennych chi unrhyw beth y byddwch chi eisiau ychwanegu am hwnna? Ie, Louise.

Thank you, Gillian. Before I bring in the witnesses in the room—. Hefin, we will ask the witnesses to answer with regard to the priorities for the Welsh Government's budget. Is there anything else that you wanted to add to that question before I ask the witnesses in the room to come in, or are you content? Great. So, in terms of Hefin's final question, do you have any suggestions of what you would like the Welsh Government to be considering with regard to its budget and funding? Is there anything that you'd like to add on that? Yes, Louise.

Yes. I'd echo the points that have been made by my colleagues in the room around skills and employment. Like Diane said, we are seeing huge skill gaps within the sector. Lots of organisations have, sadly, had to make people redundant; we've lost key skills from the sector over the last 18 months, and, coupled with issues around freelancers, it's a big priority. And we are seeing a push where we've seen lots of people go towards film and television, which is great, that's fantastic, the wages are there and that's reflected, and perhaps not then reflected within the theatre sector. So, if there's financial support for either training or help around that—. That's a huge issue. Our national Welsh-language theatre company had to employ an English-speaking production manager on their recent tour because there simply weren't the staff around. So that, to me, is a real issue, as well as within our venues around hospitality, front of house; it's coming up more and more as an issue. 

We know that there are apprenticeship schemes coming out of Creative Wales for film and television and we do see that there's a crossover between staff who work in both sectors, so we'd like to see greater crossover between those schemes between theatre and film and television and see where we can both mutually benefit from those schemes.

Ffantastig. Diolch am hwnna, Louise. Rwy'n ymwybodol iawn ein bod ni hanner ffordd drwy'n sesiwn ac mae gennyf i dri Aelod sydd ddim wedi gofyn eu cwestiynau nhw eto, felly, os mae fe'n ocê, gwnawn ni symud ymlaen at Heledd Fychan nawr. Heledd.

Fantastic. Thank you for that. I am very aware that we are halfway through our session and we have three Members who haven't asked their questions yet, so, if it is okay, we'll move on to Heledd Fychan now. Heledd.

Diolch, Gadeirydd. I just wanted to pick up with Louise's point, actually; you've sent us a very clear message, actually, in terms of that things are not back to normal, and also about the challenges to the sector. I'd be interested to know from you and others as well what you think we as a committee or Welsh Government could and should be doing to support the sector. And linked to this as well, we've been copied in, via the Chair, to correspondence from cultural venues to the arts council, expressing concerns about the fact that they are still being challenged by COVID, that they're not in any way back to normal, so echoing what you said, Louise. There have been warm words of sympathy from both the Deputy Minister and the Arts Council of Wales to those venues. I wondered if there is anything definite planned to provide further support that the arts council is aware of. 

10:00

I can pick up that question, Chair. Just to kind of give the committee some high-level figures, which I think is important for some context: since the pandemic started, we've invested over £32 million in additional grants to the sector and paid out towards in excess of 1,000 grant applications that we've dealt with in terms of stabilisation funds and culture recovery funds. The culture recovery fund 2 came to the end of its life at the end of September, and since then we, as a funding body, have been lobbying Welsh Government for additional funding, and I submitted a detailed business case to Welsh Government in October. We've been told that, as part of the mid-year budget review, there may be funds available and that we would know by the end of this week whether there's additional money to support those organisations, particularly those that tend to be more commercial and less reliant on subsidy, so those that have experienced issues with their box office, their hospitality, and other paid for, participatory kind of organisations.

Are you able to share with us what kind of figures we're looking at? What is the amount that you're seeking from Welsh Government?

So, the culture recovery fund 2, which came to an end in September, gave out grants of £8.7 million. We've put forward a business case, which is more of a hybrid business case, to recognise the fact that some activity is happening in the sector, and so it's roughly half that, the business case that's gone forward.

Thank you. I don't know if Louise wanted to pick up on some of the points that I raised, and perhaps some of the other contributors today, in terms of whether further support is required from Welsh Government or what would you like to see happen to provide that support in terms of the skills gap.

Well, it's fantastic to hear about business cases being put forward, and we know the advocacy that's been done by the arts council and we would absolutely support that. There are venues that have not even reopened because they just simply don't have the capacity to reopen. So, the more that we can support those venues to get back up and running, the more they can welcome back their communities and their audiences back into the venues.

There's also, obviously, the introduction of the COVID pass. We are supportive of measures that obviously are going to try and prevent the spread of the virus; we are aware of the figures. But, we're already seeing an impact just in the last couple of weeks of it being introduced, with multiple refunds being given, people not attending the centres. It's just a small thing, but communication about that and, I think, a Wales-wide approach coming out of Welsh Government in terms of messaging around that would really be welcomed, because the venues are having to obviously do their own messaging, but if they were part of a wider campaign that was being seen, I think that would be really welcomed.

Heledd, before we come back to you, Carolyn wants to come in. We're quite short of time, so if you could be brief. Sorry to put pressure on you.

That's okay. With COVID, do you rely on volunteers a lot? I should imagine you do. Is that having an effect, do you think, on people coming back after COVID because they're not used to volunteering anymore and building up that confidence again?

I have to say, it was a big worry because, obviously, a lot of the volunteers tend to be of an older population and perhaps in an at-risk category. At the moment, we're not seeing huge examples of where people haven't come back, and, actually, what we have experienced in some cases is an increase, because during people's—I was going to say 'time off', but that's wrong. Some people were furloughed and took the opportunity to carry out volunteer positions in other areas, and have now wanted to continue that now that they might be back in their old position. So, at the moment, we're not seeing that as a huge problem, and, hopefully, it may have actually increased opportunities.

10:05

Theatr Clwyd, I'm a member of that, and if you can't turn up for an event, or, during the pandemic, they actually sent e-mails out saying, 'Would you carry over the money to another production or offer to make a donation perhaps towards keeping the theatre going?' And just those little e-mails being sent out did really help with that.

Yes. I think some of these things about COVID recovery will be things that Alun Davies will be picking up as well, but I just wanted to come back—. Alun, did you want to come in on an intervention on that point, or did you want to wait?

No, if you want to cover COVID following Heledd, then perhaps—

We'll come back to it. Okay.

Heledd, nôl i chi.

Heledd, back to you.

Ie. Os caf i jest ofyn ynglŷn â chyfranogi ac ymgysylltu, yn amlwg rydyn ni wedi cael peth gwybodaeth o ran amrywiaeth a sicrhau mwy o fynediad i leoliadau. Ond byddwn i'n hoffi gofyn cwestiwn ynglŷn â'r cyfranogi ac ymgysylltu yn yr ardaloedd mwyaf gwledig, a sicrhau ledled Cymru y cyfranogiad hwnnw. Ydych chi yn gweld bod rhai o'n hardaloedd gwledig ni, yn benodol efallai, yn dioddef mwy na rhai mwy trefol efo mwy o drwch poblogaeth? Yn sicr, o ran y cyfathrebu dwi wedi'i dderbyn, dwi'n gweld heriau gan y rhai sydd efallai'n ddibynnol hefyd ar wariant gan awdurdodau lleol. Oes yna rywbeth penodol o ran ein lleoliadau llai rydych chi'n meddwl y dylai Llywodraeth Cymru neu'r cyngor celfyddydau fod yn ei wneud, neu rywbeth y byddem ni fel pwyllgor yn gallu ei wneud i ategu hynny?

Yes. If I could just ask about participation and engagement, clearly we've received some information in terms of diversity and ensuring greater access to settings. But I would like to ask a question on participation and engagement in our most rural areas, and ensuring that we have participation across Wales. Do you see that some of our rural areas, specifically, are perhaps suffering more than the more urban areas where there is a greater density of population? Certainly in terms of the communication I've received, there are challenges facing those who are reliant on expenditure from local authorities. So, is there anything specific in terms of our smaller venues that the Welsh Government or the arts council should be doing, or is there anything that we as a committee could do to support that?

Os gallaf ofyn am atebion mor gryno â phosib. Dwi'n gwybod bod hyn yn bwnc mawr iawn, ond dwi jest yn ymwybodol iawn o amser. Oes unrhyw un eisiau pigo hynny i fyny? Diane. 

If I could ask for responses that are succinct as possible. I know this is a huge issue, but I'm just very aware of the time. Does anybody want to pick that up? Diane.

Yes. I don't know that at the moment we're getting evidence that the impact is necessarily worse. I think, in terms of venues, quite possibly—. Venues right across the board, we know from some data that we've been looking at recently, audiences have reduced by 98 per cent across the board, which is absolutely shocking, really startling data. And they're not picking up either. And it's regular attenders who are just not coming back at the moment. We think, just having an initial look at that, it's more to do with age profiles rather than location. I think the smaller venues, yes, but Louise might be able to answer that a bit better than we can at the moment. Some of the data that is coming through as well is that, actually, it's areas that traditionally face more poverty where, again, there's a slower return. As I say, this is data that we're just starting to look at and want to interrogate much more, so that we can really understand what we need to do about recovery.

I know we keep coming back to this a little bit, but I think if we can get the funding that we've put in a request for, that is going to have an immediate impact. But, actually, we need to be looking at it in the longer term. There is investment that is needed over a longer period of time to really start to build back. And it's not just venues; it then has an impact, because of the lack of confidence amongst audiences and the potential impact on venues, that does then have a knock-on effect on producing companies, for example. They can be producing the work, but they could have shows cancelled because the venues have had to close or the audiences are not there. So, it is having a wider impact across the whole sector. And it really does need that longer term plan, a 12 or 18-month plan, in terms of recovery. The immediate funding is essential at this point in time, particularly for the venues and for the participatory arts organisations, but it's that longer term plan we need—

10:10

Diane, I'm so sorry to interrupt you. I'm afraid we're out of time for this part, but Gillian has had her hand up, so, Gillian, if I could ask for a very brief point on this, please. I'm sorry that the time is so against us this morning.

Just very briefly, in terms of participation, we are concerned about—. We draw from all over Wales and we are concerned about young people in rural communities particularly, because that kind of wider youth arts ecology, where we really draw most of our gifted and talented young people from, provision was really patchy pre-COVID and in a lot of areas has disappeared altogether. So, we're hearing from our young people that they feel completely isolated in terms of their—. Where they were geographically isolated, they feel even more isolated now and cut off from access to participatory arts-based activities, because those opportunities have maybe disappeared because of COVID, either operationally or financially, the challenges are too difficult.

Thanks, Gillian. And forgive me, I'm afraid that we're going to have to move on now. If there's anything that any organisation would like to add to what's been said, if you could submit it to us in written evidence, we'd be very grateful.

Fe wnawn ni symud ymlaen at Alun Davies.

We'll move on to Alun Davies.

Can I go back to COVID? It's the spectre at the feast, isn't it, so I may as well return to it. Louise, you said that there'd been a significant falling off of audience numbers, as a consequence, you believed, of the introduction of a COVID pass—about a month, six weeks ago, whenever. And, Diane, you said that audiences had fallen by 98 per cent, if I understood you correctly, as a consequence of COVID. I'm wondering how you can—. I can see the decline of audiences over COVID, I can understand that, but I don't then understand, if audiences have fallen by 98 per cent, that, Louise, you can say that there's been a fall-off because of the COVID pass, because you're talking about very small numbers now.

One example is the Torch Theatre in Milford Haven, who have got their panto coming up, and they had an entire performance booked out of schools. And it was the schools that cancelled, because of lack of confidence, not because they disagreed with the pass.

No, but the message is: theatres are unsafe. When it's a singled-out sector that is added to the areas that a pass is required for, it indicates to the public that that sector is unsafe. And that is the example that the school gave. So, they went from having a sold-out performance to having nobody coming to it. And that is a direct example. We're getting individual examples in other areas, and that might be around disagreeing with the notion of a COVID pass, but there are still examples in both areas.

I'm not sure I find that a very convincing argument, I have to say to you. First of all, because children, of course, don't require passes, and, secondly, we've just seen packed stadia for Wales playing international rugby, and it would be curious if the people who would be going there, and will be joining me watching Cardiff City tonight, are the same people you want as audiences. And it is curious that a theatre finds this so difficult when other venues don't. So, I'm not sure I find those anecdotes very convincing. Do you have any data on you?

I've got evidence: I've got e-mail evidence, I've got social media evidence.

I'm not interested in e-mails, quite frankly, because, you know, individuals—. I get hundreds of e-mails every day myself. I'm interested in data, because I think that is where you get the pattern across the country. And I think this is an important subject, and I don't think it's very fair to deal with it in a very broken, anecdotal sense; I think we need to look at the data of that. And if you do have data, then I'd be grateful if that could be sent to the committee, because the committee would take an interest in that.

Yes. We're two weeks into the pass. So, what we've asked all venues to do is keep a spreadsheet of all cancellations, and the financial contribution of that cancellation, and the audience figures, so we can try and look at the picture across the country. Because I completely agree that we need to see that it's not just an isolated one venue that is having issues—that it's a whole thing.

10:15

And how do you understand the intersection between the point that Diane makes, which I do find convincing—I do understand that, I accept that—and the COVID pass, which, as you say, is relatively recent? And we haven't seen the evidence of that elsewhere. So, I'm interested as to where that intersection lies, because, if audiences have collapsed in the way that you've described, and we've heard Gillian say how people have not been able to return to activities in other ways, then it just seems to me that the pass itself is somewhere in the middle—that it's an easy excuse but it's a poor reason.

I think it's just what's happened at the moment. As I say, we're two weeks into it, so the only examples I can give you are what I've had given to me by venues. We know that there is a slower return for audiences in all cases. We've seen sold-out runs of The Book of Mormon at Wales Millennium Centre, which is fantastic, but we're talking about venues across Wales, and the audience figures are vastly different depending on the settings and depending on confidence. 

I get that. Although, I have to say, I've been to arts activities in my own constituency, which have been pretty full over the last month, or the last period. 

Yes, and it's great to see. 

What advice is the arts council giving theatres on the COVID pass?

Shall I come in? I was thinking, as you were talking, there is something really important around the messaging in terms of the COVID pass. It's interesting, because we opened—just thinking about schools—our Go and See grant, which is part of our creative learning programme, and schools had been asking us if we were going to open it again. And we opened it, and, within two days of informing schools it was open, I think, we'd already had 16 schools that had applied for a grant, and in the first round we were up to between 30 and 40 schools who had applied for grants to take pupils to the theatre. And then there was the COVID pass, and there was suddenly a moment of, 'Oh, can we still do this? Should we still do this?'. As far as we know, those who have been successful at the moment in receiving grants are still planning to do their work, still planning to do the visits, but I do think we've missed something around the messaging to communities around COVID passes. Because I think it has shaken the confidence a little bit in terms of, as Louise was saying, 'Is it still a safe place to go, because we now need a COVID pass to go there?' But I think that's about the messaging, and there's a piece of work for us to do in partnership with Creu Cymru and the venues and other parts of the sector to really understand what this means. 

Okay. Let's ask another question to all three panelists. I feel somewhat disappointed in some of your evidence. Rebecca has emphasised the independence of the arts council, and I agree with you: I don't want Ministers, or even jobbing backbenchers, taking decisions about the arts. I think it's a bad way to run any society. I agree with your independence, but with that independence comes a responsibility, of course. And you have, in different ways, said, 'We need more from Government—we need messaging from Government, we need cash from Government' and the rest of it. And I can understand you coming to a committee of the Senedd and saying that. If I was in your position I'd probably do exactly the same, but what's your responsibility? And this is a question to all three representatives here today: what are you doing in order to support and to sustain those institutions? What are you doing on messaging? Because the alternative view, Diane, which I would prefer, frankly, is that the COVID pass provides certainty and safety for people. I feel far more confident going to these venues with a pass. I went to watch James Bond last week, and I was very happy to sit in a cinema full of people, absolutely packed, every seat taken, all of us with COVID passes, than I would have been in other circumstances. So, I'm interested to know what you are doing. What is your messaging? What are you doing to help organisations sustain their finances? And what is it that you intend to do in the future?

10:20

If I could ask for relatively short, actually, very brief answers—

Yes, I'm happy to do that. Let me clarify: when I talked about messaging, I think I did say that that is something that we need to do alongside Creu Cymru and the venues and other parts of the sector. I think that is something that we need to do.

Not around the COVID pass, no, we haven't, but that is something that we do need to do and we will take responsibility for doing that. I think that's what I said in my answer, so I just want to be absolutely clear that that's what I'm saying.

Around support, we already have—. In terms of supporting the sector moving forward, we've already got a plan B. If we don't get the funding that we've applied for or that we've asked Welsh Government for in terms of COVID, we're already looking at what we can do with the resources that we have available to us. And the key resource, obviously, is lottery funding. So, we've already started to do a piece of work around that. We couldn't have the same impact that an additional £4.5 million might give us, but we have started to plan—well, we haven't started to plan; we have a plan B. If that money isn't forthcoming, there is something we can do to support not all of the sector, but the part of the sector that is really struggling at the moment. So, we have a plan in place to do that.

The investment review is a really important piece of work for us as we move forward, and that really is about looking creatively at how we support the sector, moving forward. And that, as I said earlier, is a really important piece of work that we have. The date has shifted—we're delaying it, but we're continuing to work on that and that's one of our top priorities. 

Fantastic. Gillian, were you indicating that you wanted to come in there? No, okay. Lorne, did you want to come in? No, okay. If there's anything further that you'd like to add there, if you could write to us, we'd be really grateful—

Sorry, can I just confirm, then, that neither National Theatre Wales nor Creu Cymru are actually doing anything in this field to support and to sustain audiences and participation. If that's the case, that's fine, but let's be clear about that on the record.

No, that's not the case. We're touring work, we're talking to audiences, we're supporting venues, we're engaged with youth organisations, we're co-creating work within communities, and part of the messaging of that is about a return to practice, a return to work, about the safety of coming to and being in either formal or informal theatre spaces so long as best practice is observed with COVID safety around those activities. 

Can I check, before we go on to the final set of questions, which will be on Brexit, have you had any discussions with the Welsh Government or do you think the Welsh Government should be considering culture recovery fund 3? Do you think that that should be something that they should be looking at? Is that a conversation that's already started to happen? And, again, forgive me, but if I could ask for a very brief answer because we're so short of time today. Who would want to come in on that? Rebecca.

In terms of culture recovery fund 3, this emergency fund is a sort of hybrid of it, because, obviously, I think we recognise that with the vaccination programme, with audiences and confidence slowly building—although I appreciate some of the barriers that have been mentioned—it doesn't seem right to replicate that previous model in CRF3. So, this emergency funding is the next step in terms of recovery as opposed to a sticking plaster on the sector.

I just wanted to come back to a point from the Member in terms of Creu Cymru and what we are doing to support our members. And I don't want to go over old ground, but we've done several briefings about the COVID pass, we've disseminated information from Welsh Government, we've created fact sheets. So, we are trying to do everything we can to support and to get those messages out to audiences.

I just wanted to say, around culture recovery fund 3, although it's not in my gift, as a recipient of the culture recovery fund previously, National Youth Arts Wales would have unlikely survived the pandemic as a young organisation without the support of the Arts Council of Wales, Welsh Government and through the culture recovery fund. We feel we're on a more even keel, but we generate so much of our own income through earned income activities, we're really worried about the future, as a lot of organisations are. We're feeling a kind of green-shoot recovery, but we definitely still need to have an emphasis on that longer term recovery.

10:25

Thank you, Gillian. We're into our final five minutes. Can I check, are all witnesses okay to stay until 10:35 instead of half past? Is that all right? Fantastic.

Diolch yn fawr iawn. Fe wnawn ni symud, yn olaf, at Carolyn Thomas.

Thank you very much. We'll move on, finally, to Carolyn Thomas.

I just want to ask about the positive and negative impacts of COVID and Brexit arrangements, how you are feeling them, and the projected long-term impacts of the current situation. I'm aware that a lot of community arts activities were funded with the ERDF funding. I don't want to lead you into that in particular, but just general impacts of Brexit.

I suppose, from an Arts Council of Wales point of view, I think our view is very much that we're yet to see the full impact of Brexit, or be able to analyse the impact of Brexit, because it's been masked by COVID, and obviously the implications of the reduction of international travel and those kinds of things.

We're starting to see some impact in terms of two key areas, I suppose. One is, obviously, the movement of people and the impact of how we move artists into the EU and out of the EU, and the additional costs and paperwork that we're seeing at this transitional and introductory stage. And then, secondly, there is the movement of goods for our sector in terms of touring and moving, for example, exhibitions around Europe, additional shipping costs and, again, paperwork. In terms of funding, there's still no UK-wide replacement to the cultural strand that was the EU Creative Europe fund. So, at the moment, it's difficult for us to participate in any kind of conversations that we would previously have had as part of that funding.

Oes unrhyw un eisiau ychwanegu i hwnna?

Does anybody want to add anything?

Gillian, you wanted to.

We aren't feeling the effects of Brexit yet, but that's not to say that we won't in the future, particularly around the costs of bringing our young people out. But also one of the things we do is prioritising giving gifted and talented young people in Wales access to the very best Welsh practitioners and artists. We bring world-class artists to Wales. The conductor for the National Youth Orchestra of Wales at the moment is coming from Canada. So, just for an organisation of our size, it's potentially increased expense and complexity of that movement of artists that we're worried about.

Anyone else? No. Carolyn, is there anything else you wanted to ask?

Lorne, I didn't check, was there anything you wanted to add on that?

I think just to echo what's been said there. Certainly, in conversation with international partners, the appetite for working with Welsh companies and with Welsh artists remains, but there is tangibly increased anxiety around costs, complexity, difficulty, possibility of cancel, and I think that sits within a wider space that we'll only appreciate over the coming months and years about the damage that has been done to our brand internationally. And in the types of creative conversations that we're having with partners, again, there is a tangible shift about the way we are being perceived and the types of conversations we're being drawn into.

Thanks, Lorne. Did anyone in the room want to add anything? No. We're happy. There was one final thing that I wanted—

Wel, roeddwn i eisiau gofyn i'r—. Heledd, oedd gyda chi unrhyw beth roeddech chi eisiau ei ofyn yn olaf? Oeddech chi eisiau dod mewn â rhywbeth atodol? Na. 

O ran y broses o apwyntio prif weithredwr newydd i'r cyngor celfyddydau, oes unrhyw gefnogaeth ychwanegol rydych chi wedi ei chael gan y Llywodraeth? Oes unrhyw gefnogaeth ychwanegol yr hoffech chi ei chael, neu oes unrhyw ddiweddariad fyddech chi'n gallu ei rhoi inni ar hyn o bryd am hwnna?

Well, I wanted to ask—. Heledd, did you have anything that you wanted to ask? Did you want to come in on a supplementary issue? No.

In terms of the process of appointing a new chief executive of the arts council, is there any additional support that you've been receiving by the Government? Is there any additional support that you would like to receive, or do you have any update that you can give us on that, please?

I will, because I led on it last time. So, we've recommended to council, I think it was last week, that we'd like to appoint an interim chief executive until we can appoint a permanent chief exec because of how long it takes to appoint someone at this seniority—sometimes, there's a six-month notice period. We are currently talking to the Welsh Government to see if there are any opportunities for secondments and those kinds of arrangements for this interim period. If not, we'll pursue the next option, which is, obviously, to go to a recruitment agency where there are discrete people who come in and do that kind of caretaker role that we need for this period. But, I think, from my perspective as a member of the senior leadership team, we really do need people, we need the strength in numbers, and I think we're starting to feel like only three of us doing the job of five people is quite tough. So, we're really keen to get some people in place to support us through this time.

10:30

In terms of the permanent role, we're aware that our chair is continuing to have very productive and supportive conversations with the Welsh Government about that, as well. 

Ffantastig. Diolch yn fawr iawn. Gaf i ddiolch i bob un o'r tystion a'r Aelodau am y sesiwn y bore yma? Bydd transgript o'r hyn dŷch chi wedi ei ddweud yn cael ei ddanfon atoch chi ichi ei wirio. Rwyf i'n gwybod dŷn ni wedi sôn ar sawl achlysur efallai y byddwch chi eisiau ysgrifennu atom ni gyda mwy o wybodaeth y mae rhai ohonoch chi wedi ei chrybwyll. Efallai y byddwch chi eisiau danfon pethau atom ni hefyd. Ond diolch yn fawr iawn i chi i gyd

Aelodau, byddwn ni'n cymryd egwyl fer, jest tan ugain munud i, so gwnawn ni fynd i mewn i sesiwn breifat er mwyn cael y tystion newydd i mewn. Diolch yn fawr iawn i chi am hwnna.

Fantastic. Thank you very much. May I thank all witnesses and Members for the session this morning? A transcript of the discussion will be sent to you for you to check for accuracy. I know that we talked on several occasions that you might want to write to us with additional information. Some of you have said that you would wish to send us some further evidence. So, thank you very much to all of you.

Members, we will take a short break now just until 10:40. So, we'll go into private session to invite the new witnesses in. Thank you very much.

Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 10:31 a 10:40.

The meeting adjourned between 10:31 and 10:40.

10:40
3. Ymchwiliad undydd ar y diwydiannau celfyddydau a chreadigol
3. One day inquiry on arts and creative industries

Croeso nôl i'n sesiwn y bore yma—. Wel, mae hi dal yn fore yma, ac rŷm ni dal ar ein hymchwiliad undydd i'r celfyddydau a'r diwydiannau creadigol. Gwnaf i ofyn i'n tystion ni am ein hail sesiwn i gyflwyno eu hunain. Gwnaf i ddod at y tystion sydd ar-lein gyda ni yn gyntaf. Gwnaf i ddod yn gyntaf at Sara.

Welcome back, everyone, to our session this morning—. Yes, it is still morning, and we are still on our one-day inquiry on arts and creative industries. I'll ask our witnesses for our second evidence session to introduce themselves. I'll come to the witnesses online first of all. I'll turn first to Sara.

Bore da. I'm Sara Pepper. I'm the director of creative economy at Cardiff University.

Hello, everyone. I'm Clara Cullen. I'm the venue support manager at Music Venue Trust. We're a charity that represents grass-roots music venues in the UK, and I'm standing in today for our CEO, Mark Davyd, who can't be here today. Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to speak. Hello.

Good morning. Bore da. I'm the chief executive of Ffilm Cymru Wales.

Diolch, Pauline, a Dyfrig yn yr ystafell.

Thank you, Pauline, and Dyfrig in the room.

Bore da. Diolch am y cyfle. Cadeirydd newydd, os caf i ddweud, TAC, sy'n cynrychioli'r sector ffilm a theledu a radio a digidol yng Nghymru.

Good morning. Thank you for the opportunity. I am the newly appointed chair of TAC, representing the film, television, radio and digital sectors in Wales.

Ffantastig. Lyfli i'ch cael chi i gyd gyda ni heddiw. Fel rwyf newydd fod yn esbonio i Dyfrig; os byddwch chi'n gallu dangos eich llaw os ydych chi eisiau dod i mewn ar unrhyw gwestiwn, achos efallai bydd pawb ddim eisiau dod i mewn ar bob cwestiwn, a bydd nifer o bethau byddwn ni'n gofyn. Fe wnawn ni symud yn syth at gwestiynau, ac fe wnawn ni fynd at Tom Giffard yn gyntaf. Tom.

Fantastic. It's lovely to have you all with us this morning. I've just been explaining to Dyfrig; if you could just raise your hand if you want to come in on any question, because perhaps not everyone will want to come in on every question, and there are many issues that we want to cover. We'll go straight to questions, with Tom Giffard to start. Tom.

Thank you, Delyth, and good morning, everybody. It's lovely to have you with us in the committee today. I wanted to start by asking about Wales's place in the world. How do you think your sector should be used to promote Wales's place in the world?

Pwy sydd eisiau—? Mae Dyfrig eisiau dod i mewn, dwi'n meddwl.

Who wants to start? Dyfrig wants to come in, I think.

Yes. It's important that Wales is represented on film and tv as well as possible.

Un o'r pethau dwi'n credu sy'n bwysig yn fan hyn, a dyma lle mae rôl, efallai, gan y Senedd i chwarae, yw bod yna sgriwtineiddio yn digwydd, a dweud y gwir, o bwy sydd yn cael gwneud beth ac ym mha iaith. Hynny yw, rŷm ni'n gwybod, er enghraifft, fod gyda ni yng Nghymru sector Gymraeg gref iawn, iawn, ac mae marchnadoedd tramor i'r gwaith sy'n cael ei wneud yn allweddol bwysig. Mae hwnna'n bwynt, efallai, mae eisiau inni gymryd a'i ystyried, sef bod posib inni barhau er gwaethaf Brexit i allu mynd i'r marchnadoedd hynny, i gael partneriaeth i weithio. Hefyd, mae angen sgriwtineiddio beth mae Ofcom a'r BBC yn gwneud o ran, mewn gwirionedd, edrych ar ôl IP, sef yr eiddo deallusol sydd gan gynhyrchwyr yng Nghymru. Mae hwnna'n bwysig yn symud ymlaen, achos mewn gwirionedd dyna o le mae'r buddsoddiad yn dod. Os rydych chi'n gwerthu rhywbeth a'ch bod chi'n cael arian amdano fe, rŷch chi'n gallu buddsoddi yn ôl. Ac mae'r un mor bwysig ystyried—a rwy'n gwybod bod aelodau TAC yn gweld hyn yn bwysig iawn, rheini sy'n cynhyrchu yn arbennig drwy gyfrwng y Saesneg—fod Cymru a phobl Cymru yn cael eu hadlewyrchu'n deg gan gwmnïau o Gymru, os caf i ddweud, ar y lefel rhyngwladol, a bod hynny, wrth gwrs, yn digwydd drwy gyfrwng y Saesneg yn ogystal â'r Gymraeg.

One of the things I think is important here, and this is where perhaps the Senedd has a role to play, is that there is scrutiny of who does what and in what language. We know, for example, that we have a very strong Welsh-medium sector in Wales, and foreign markets are extremely important for the work that is done. That's a point that needs to be taken into account, namely that it is possible for us, despite Brexit, to continue to access those markets and to work in partnership. We also need to scrutinise what Ofcom and the BBC are doing in terms of safeguarding the IP, the intellectual property, that producers have in Wales. That's important in moving forward, because in reality that's where the investment comes from. If you sell something and get money for that then you can invest back in the sector. And it's just as important—I know that members of TAC see this as very important, particularly those producing through the medium of English—that Wales and the people of Wales are fairly reflected by companies from Wales, if I may say so, at the international level, and that that can happen through the medium of English as well as Welsh.

Diolch, Dyfrig. Oes unrhyw un ar-lein eisiau ychwanegu neu eisiau ateb hyn? Pauline.

Thank you, Dyfrig. Does anybody online want to add to that or want to give an answer? Pauline.

Yes. I mean, Wales, I think, should be seen as providers of world-class content and international collaborators that people around the world want to come and work with us, whether that's in Wales or whether we're going out and working elsewhere in the world with partners. I think that we certainly have seen, throughout our existence as a support of the sector, that we're one of the most active areas of the UK in terms of international co-production, for example. On average every year, at least 25 per cent of our slate are international co-productions and I really expect that to continue to be the case, because we have relevant stories that resonate around the world.

Diolch, Pauline. Sara neu Clara?

Thank you, Pauline. Sara or Clara?

Thank you. Excellent points made there. I think the importance of the creative industries from Wales is taking them to the world to show the world what Wales has to offer in terms of talent, and capability, and skills, and our landscape at the very least, of what is happening here in Wales as a sector, but what we can offer for people to come to Wales to come and make work here as well. It's very important. Some of the stories that are made here are telling the story of Wales as well, are showcasing Wales as a nation, our identity as well as our industry, and that needs to travel and that's very important, as well as bringing eyes back here to come and work here to engage with what's happening here. So, I think it's important, from an industry perspective, a culture perspective, potentially a tourism perspective, and a storytelling and narrative identity and brand perspective.

10:45

Great. Clara, unless you wanted to come in, we'll go back to Tom.

I was just going to add that I think from the Music Venue Trust perspective, our engagement with the Creative Wales body, which was relatively new for us during the pandemic, really, showed to us the capabilities of that type of partnership and why it's so important to have those types of organisations and bodies and us interacting with them, both to represent grass-roots music venues in Wales, but it helps create new partnerships that didn't exist previously, and that was really important for us and something that really came out through the pandemic, actually.

Thanks. Obviously, the Welsh Government has an international strategy. I'm just curious to know what level of engagement, either directly, indirectly, or not at all, you've had with that international strategy. It would be good to hear whether you have or you haven't. It would be good to know the level of engagement you've had with that international strategy.

I'll happily come in on that first. So, in the work that we do around Clwstwr, which is a £10 million innovation programme working directly with the screen and news sectors in Wales, we've worked quite closely with the Welsh Government international relations team, being very mindful of what that strategy is, and working with the resources that are in place with the offices that are located around the world. Predominantly, in our case, we've worked with the offices based in mainland Europe, but we are expanding that to the offices in Canada and the US as well. I have to say they have proved excellent counsel and expertise in enabling us to use the offices themselves, the facilities, for networking events, but they have also used their networks to engage with contacts, connections, commercial potential collaborators and support environments within those nations so that we can grow our network, so that we can really get into the parts of the sector that we might not have had connections to ourselves. So, we've had very supportive working relations with those partners. I am aware that Creative Wales are—as, obviously, Clara just said quite right there—a very new organisation, just a couple of years in existence, but I'm aware that they are going to be developing an international strategy. We do engage with them regularly to share the international activity that we're having, that we're doing and that we're engaging in. It's so important for everybody to be aware of what's happening so we don't replicate and so that we can add value. So, there's a conversation with them as well in this space, and other partners, like for example, Pauline at Ffilm Cymru Wales and other support organisations so that we can try and enable the best for Wales and the companies we're working for and not replicate.

Iawn. Mae Dyfrig eisiau dod i mewn, dwi'n meddwl.

Yes. Dyfrig wants to come in, I think.

Ie, jest i ategu at hynny i gyd gan ddweud bod TAC ac aelodau TAC, ar hyd y blynyddoedd, drwy gymorth Llywodraeth Cymru a chymorth gan ddarlledwyr, wedi bod yn ymweld gyda marchnadoedd a gwyliau ffilm ledled y byd, a dweud y gwir. Wrth gwrs, dŷn ni eisiau hynny i barhau, a dyna pam bod sgwrs gyda Cymru Greadigol, wrth symud ymlaen, a dweud y gwir, yn mynd i fod yn bwysig iawn, a dwi'n falch iawn o glywed fe fydd yna wrth gwrs strategaeth ryngwladol. Heb unrhyw amheuaeth, mae hi'n ffordd bwysig ymlaen inni, a bod Brexit, er enghraifft, yn caniatáu i hynny ddigwydd yn rhwydd. Dyna un peth arall. Ond rwy'n siŵr fe wnawn ni drafod hynny nes ymlaen.

Yes, just to add to that by saying that TAC and TAC members, through the years, with the support of Welsh Government and the support of broadcasters, have been visiting markets and film festivals across the world. Of course we want that to continue, and that's why a conversation with Creative Wales in moving forward is going to be very important, and I'm pleased to hear that there will be an international strategy. Without a doubt, it's an important way forward for us, and that Brexit, for example, allows that to happen easily. That's an important thing. But I'm sure we will come to that.

Yn sicr, byddwn ni yn dod at Brexit—yn sicr. Oedd unrhyw un eisiau ychwanegu rhywbeth at hynny cyn inni fynd yn ôl at Tom? Pauline.

We will certainly come to Brexit, without a doubt, yes. Did anyone have anything to add to that before we go back to Tom? Pauline.

Yes. I mean, I would say that we had really quite extensive engagement with the Minister at the time and her officials in terms of the formulation of that strategy. They really listened to which territories around the world were already important, and we expected to continue to be important, including Europe as a very significant partner, and to looking at what networks were really important for the talent that we're working with; so, Cine-Regio, for example, which is a network of 49 European film funds that are very engaged in working with Wales. So, that was a very positive relationship and I think all of the officers were very accessible, very available, so from time to time if any particular producers want to go and they have even very particular meetings and particular projects that they want to look at potential collaborators on the ground, those officers are always available for them to talk to and to help them access those territories, which is really helpful. I do think it will be important—because we've had this kind of enforced lull in international activity with COVID—that Creative Wales's strategy really brings to the forefront how we support businesses in their forward partnerships, the productions that they go on to do, the kind of trade presence that they have, the trade missions, their attendance, to develop new relationships and new territories, and that will require financial support as well and it needs to be quite flexible, so I'm really looking forward to those conversations with Creative Wales. They've been very open and collaborative in all their work to date.

10:50

Tom, oedd yna unrhyw beth oeddech chi eisiau dod nôl arno?

Tom, was there anything else that you wanted to add?

Can I just follow up? From the three answers we had there, I think it was only Pauline that mentioned a kind of role in formulating that strategy, so I'm interested to know from Sara or Dyfrig—I think Sara mentioned about the kind of work within the strategy and we're mindful of what the strategy was, and Dyfrig talked about visiting markets and film festivals—but to what extent are you being consulted, if at all, on the formulation of that strategy, and how do you know whether what you're doing is successful? Are there targets, are there metrics that the Welsh Government use?

Sara, a wedyn mi wnaf i ddod at Dyfrig. Sara?

Sara, and then I'll come to Dyfrig. Sara?

So, we weren't involved directly in the development of the strategy. I think the timing of perhaps when Clwstwr came online meant that that strategy was already in place, and therefore, for us, it was a case of being mindful of what that was, alongside other international strategies in play in different partner institutions and so on and being responsive to them.

In terms of metrics for success, sorry, Tom, can I just clarify, was your question about metrics for success on Welsh Government activity or on our activity relating to Welsh Government activity?

Well, you obviously mentioned that you're mindful of the Welsh Government's sort of international strategy, so how do you know that you're meeting those criteria? Are Welsh Government kind of—? How do Welsh Government monitor that, if at all?

How do Welsh Government monitor what we're doing?

Well, I suppose through the relationship that we have with Creative Wales and us feeding back to them, and also colleagues in the international relations team. I mean, it feels—I think a lot of that work has been happening for a while, so for us, it's about slotting in and adding value to what's already in train, as well as being open and receptive to new opportunities, because whilst there is a strategy, I suppose we also have our operating strategy, so we have to be mindful that there might be some territories that are outside of that that would be advantageous for us to move into. So, I suppose it's being aware of that environment and adding value and maximising it, and then also being open to other opportunities that exist.

And it's important to say at this moment: I think we haven't talked about this in terms of the opening question—Wales to the world, and thinking about the international strategy—is thinking about digital. Because actually, that's a whole territory—if you want to refer to it as that—of its own that has come rapidly into play in the last two years in a greater way than we've ever seen before. And so as much as we need to be mindful of real territories and enabling activity within those, digital is one mechanism for enabling us to do that safely, coherently, and actually in a really sort of well-thought-through way.

One thing that we've seen a real advantage of in the last two years of lockdown—and I recently shared this with the international relations team; I was talking to the head of that department at Welsh Government and was saying that we've made really firm relationships with international partners over the last two years. Rather than getting on a plane and immediately going to see people when there was no relationship built, we've given the time and the resource to have online communications, develop firm footings of relationships, develop a strategic imperative, and now if we go and visit them next year, if that's safe to do so, and appropriate to do so, we're in a much better position. So, I think the digital and the technology and the result of lockdown has also potentially encouraged us all to think slightly differently about how we're doing this work, and will enable it to enact differently in the future, in my opinion.

Diolch, Sara. Bydd rhaid i ni symud ymlaen mewn munud, ond dwi eisiau dod nôl at Dyfrig, achos roedd Tom wedi gofyn yn benodol i Dyfrig hefyd am hwnna.

Thank you, Sara. We'll have to move on in a moment, but I do want to come back to Dyfrig, because Tom had asked Dyfrig specifically on that point also.

Wel, rŷn ni wedi bod yn rhan answyddogol, fel petai; neu anffurfiol, dylwn i ddweud—dim answyddogol—anffurfiol o ffurfio'r strategaeth. Rŷn ni'n ymwybodol bod hynna'n digwydd, ond mae yna newid, wrth gwrs, wedi bod yn y gadeiryddiaeth a hefyd gyda ni yn TAC o ran pwy sydd yn rheoli o ddydd i ddydd. Felly, allaf i ddim yn rhoi'r manylon llawn i chi o faint o gyfarfodydd. O ran mesur llwyddiant, mae'n anodd, a dwi'n derbyn hynna. Pe bai'n bosib dod lan â ffordd o beth byddech chi'n ystyried yw mesur llwyddiant, dwi'n siŵr y byddem ni'n fodlon cydweithio ar hynny. Dwi ddim yn gwybod os ydych chi'n edrych ar nifer y projectau neu eisiau edrych ar faint o arian sy'n dod mewn, neu hyd yn oed ar yr impact, mewn gwirionedd, wrth symud ymlaen, achos os ŷch chi'n llwyddo i gael un peth dros y lein, fel petai, yn rhyngwladol, mae'n aml yn arwain at bethau eraill yn anuniongyrchol. Felly, mae yn anodd ei fesur e, ond dwi'n derbyn bod angen ei fesur e ar yr un pryd.

Well, we have been an informal part of drawing up the strategy. We are aware that that is happening, but there has been a change of chair, and changes in terms of day-to-day management. So, I can't give the full detail in terms of how many meetings we've attended. In terms of the metrics for success, it's difficult, and I accept that. If it were possible for you to come up with a means of measuring success, I'm sure we'd be happy to collaborate with you on that. I'm not sure if you're looking at the number of projects or how much money is coming in or even the impact in moving into the future, because if you do succeed in getting one thing over the line internationally, as it were, it often leads to other things indirectly. So, it's difficult to measure, but I accept that it does need to be measured.

10:55

Ie, bydd nifer o'r meysydd yna yn bethau y byddwn ni fel pwyllgor yn awyddus iawn i fod yn edrych arnyn nhw dros y misoedd a blynyddoedd nesaf. Felly, dwi'n siwr y byddwn ni'n gallu cydweithio ar hynny.

Mae'n flin gen i, mae'n rhaid i ni symud ymlaen, oni bai, Tom, roedd rhywbeth byr roeddech chi eisiau dod nôl gyda fe. Na, rydych chi'n iawn. Fe wnawn ni symud at Hefin David.

Yes, those issues are something that we will want to look at over the coming months and years. I'm sure that we'll be able to collaborate with you on that.

I'm sorry, we'll have to move on, unless, Tom, there was anything else that you wanted to come back on. No. So, we'll move to Hefin David.

Wel, soniodd Dyfrig am hyn, ond, yn fwy penodol, sut y gellir cynyddu darpariaeth o Gymraeg a'r defnydd ohoni yn eich sectorau chi?

Well, Dyfrig mentioned this, but, more specifically, how could we increase the provision of the Welsh language and the use of the language in your sectors?

Dyfrig, ydych chi eisiau mynd yn gyntaf?

Dyfrig, do you want to start?

Wel, mae TAC yn gweithredu yn hollol ddwyieithog ac, wrth gwrs, rŷn ni'n hyrwyddo'r Gymraeg ym mhob ffordd bosib, a dweud y gwir. O fewn y sector, dwi'n credu ei fod e'n bwysig iawn, iawn pan fyddwn ni'n hyfforddi, a dweud y gwir, ac yn derbyn pobl newydd i mewn, eu bod nhw'n ymwybodol o bwysigrwydd y Gymraeg o fewn y sector. Hynny yw, os ŷch chi'n penderfynu dod i weithio yn y maes creadigol yng Nghymru, mae e'n ddwyieithog. Felly, os oes gyda chi'r ddwy iaith, gorau oll. Mae angen hyrwyddo hynny, dwi'n derbyn 100 y cant. Mae yna fwy i'w wneud. Dwi ddim yn swil o ddweud hynny o gwbl, ond dwi'n credu ei fod e'n mynd tuag at—gyda help, wrth gwrs, y Llywodraeth yn hynny o beth—wneud y synau iawn. Mae'r Gymraeg yn bwysicach nag erioed ac yn cael mwy o gyfartaledd, byddwn i'n dweud.

Well, TAC operates entirely bilingually, and of course we promote the Welsh language in all ways possible. Within the sector, I think it's hugely important that, when we train and bring new people in, they are aware of the importance of the Welsh language within the sector. That is to say, if you decide to come to work in the creative sphere in Wales, it's a bilingual sphere, and so if you have two languages, then all the better. We need to promote that and I wholly accept that there is more to be done. I'm not reticent in saying that in any way whatsoever, but I think, with the help of Government, the right noises are being made. The Welsh language is more important than ever and has been given greater equality, too.

Diolch. Oedd unrhyw un ar-lein eisiau ateb cwestiwn Hefin am hynny?

Did anyone online want to respond to Hefin's question there?

Yes, Sara.

Ac wedyn Pauline. Sara yn gyntaf

And then Pauline. Sara first.

It's just a quick point. I think Dyfrig's point is an excellent one—that we need to raise awareness of the potential for working bilingually, and the importance of us recruiting a fully bilingual workforce for the creative sector. I think our work engages in encouraging businesses to undertake innovation activity and developing new products, services and experiences to get to the market to grow the creative sector. I think we need to do more. We do a fair bit of work in this space, working with partners like S4C and other colleagues to encourage those products, services and experiences to be through the Welsh medium, not just for consumption in Wales but further afield, and we've seen some excellent examples of that in other minority language nations where they've done that to great effect. So, I think we all need to do our part to encourage the use of Welsh language in all parts of the creative workforce in all ways that the creative workforce are working, whether it's in commissions, in productions, in innovation activity, in taking the work internationally, and so on. We must put that at the forefront of our messaging.

Diolch am hynna, Sara. Pauline, ydych chi eisiau dod mewn? Pauline, ac wedyn fe wnaf i ddod at Clara.

Thank you for that, Sara. Pauline, did you want to come in? And then I'll come to Clara.

I'd agree with everything that Sara's just said there. Certainly, at Ffilm Cymru we do provide all of our services bilingually, whether we're working in a training context or whether we're working at production and development level, in funding, et cetera. I think it's really important, and Government has a role to play in this as well, that we really promote the successes as well when we have Welsh language successes. For example, right now we have a feature film called Gwledd/The Feast. It's sold all over the world, and it's just been released this week in the US. It's getting fantastic reviews, it has a Welsh producer, Welsh writer, Welsh director—all of the talent is Welsh in it, and it's really great to get behind that. That film was backed actually by Welsh Government's office in New York for screening over there, which I think is important, going back to the point about using your international offices as well, and getting that awareness of being able to work in both languages right out there for all collaborators to be aware of.

I think, from a Music Venue Trust perspective and a grass-roots music venue perspective, a lot of our venues in Wales really do see themselves as cultural incubators, and they're stages and rooms where artists can get their first performances and start building their fan bases, and things like that. And so, the role of venues in helping to cultivate and strengthen the Welsh music scene, and bands that are coming out from those towns and cities, I think, is really important for how that plays into supporting and strengthening the Welsh language as well, because there are bands and artists that perform, and want to perform, exclusively in Welsh. Things like the Welsh Music Prize, as well—I think the winners were announced this morning—and how it intersects with the grass-roots scene is really important, because everything starts at that level and then it grows, and momentum builds behind it. 

11:00

Diolch, Clara. Nôl at Hefin. 

Thank you, Clara. Back to Hefin. 

Diolch. A gaf i ofyn beth ddylai'r pwyllgor flaenoriaethu ar gyfer y pum mlynedd nesaf, a beth am flaenoriaethau Llywodraeth Cymru yn y dyfodol? 

Thank you. May I ask what you believe the committee should prioritise for the next five years, and what should the Welsh Government prioritise in future, too? 

So, cwestiynau pwysig a chwestiynau mawr. Mae Dyfrig wedi cymryd ei fwgwd bant, so fe wnaf i fynd at Dyfrig yn gyntaf. 

So, important, big questions there. Dyfrig has taken his mask off, so I'll go to Dyfrig first. 

O'n safbwynt ni yn TAC, rŷm ni'n ymwybodol iawn o eisiau cadw staff a datblygu staff, a denu, wrth gwrs, bobl newydd. Felly, mae'r sgiliau sydd yng Nghymru yn enfawr, ac mae'n rhaid i ni gyfaddef hynny. Ac rŷch chi'n clywed hynna, wrth gwrs, o'r dystiolaeth sydd wedi ei rhoi am lwyddiannau ffilmiau ac awduron. Ond mae yna broblem nawr ac mae yna broblem wrth symud ymlaen o ran bod yna nifer fawr o weithwyr llawrydd wedi penderfynu gadael oherwydd ansefydlogrwydd, a'r ansefydlogrwydd yn cael ei achosi, wrth gwrs, yn bennaf gan COVID. Mae'n wir i ddweud hefyd fod S4C yn dal i ddisgwyl clywed am y setliad ariannol. Rwy'n gwybod bod hwnna'n fod i ddod yn go glou nawr, ond mae hwnna wedi creu ansefydlogrwydd hefyd, a hefyd y ffordd mae'r BBC, wrth gwrs, yn yr un sefyllfa, wedi bod. Rwy'n gobeithio bydd hynna o help pan fydd y setliad ariannol yna wedi cael ei gyhoeddi. 

Felly, hyfforddiant, hyfforddiant, hyfforddiant ddywedaf i i ddechrau, ac mae hynna'n cynnwys prentisiaethau, mae e'n cynnwys rhoi cyfleoedd i bobl ifanc i ddod i mewn i'r diwydiant. Mae e'n ddiwydiant nawr sy'n gofyn am aml sgiliau, ond, dewch i ni fod yn onest, mae yna brinder enfawr ar hyn o bryd ac, mae'n amlwg felly, yn mynd ymlaen, ym maes camera, sain, goleuo, y technegau yna i gyd, a hefyd golygu, a swyddi hefyd sy'n ymwneud â rheoli cynyrchiadau, a hefyd, ddywedwn i, mae yna bethau fel ymchwil a chynhyrchu. Mae hwnna'n wir ar draws yr holl sector creadigol, nid dim ond teledu a ffilm. Mae e hefyd yn ddigidol, ac mae hwnna'n rhywbeth, wrth gwrs, mae'n rhaid i ni ystyried wrth symud ymlaen. 

So, dyna ble dwi'n teimlo ddylai'r flaenoriaeth fod nawr ac, wrth gwrs, mae hwnna'n mynd i orfod bod yn datblygu'r sgiliau wedyn ar gyfer y cyfnod nesaf. Mae'r gefnogaeth—yn hytrach na mod i'n mynd â gormod o amser; rŷch chi'n gwybod am hynny—sy'n cael ei rhoi nawr, y restart schemes, byddai'n grêt pe bai'r rheini'n gallu cael eu hymestyn. So, dyna'r prif bethau, ddywedwn i. 

From our perspective within TAC, we are highly aware of the need to retain and develop staff, and to attract new people. So, we must recognise that the skills base in Wales is huge, and you hear that from the evidence that we've heard of the success of authors and films. But there is a problem now and a problem in moving to the future, which is that a large number of freelancers have decided to leave the sector because of instability, and that instability was mainly caused by COVID. It's also true to say that S4C is still awaiting information on its financial settlement, and I know that that should be made public quite soon, but that's created instability and, of course, the way that the BBC has been in a similar position. I hope that announcing the financial settlements will assist matters. 

But, training, training, training is what I would say to start with, and that includes apprenticeships, it includes providing opportunities to young people to come into the industry. It's now an industry that needs people to be multiskilled, but, let's be honest, there is a huge shortage at the moment and, obviously, going forward, in terms of camera work, audio, lighting, all of those techniques, as well as editing and jobs relating to production management and areas such as research and production. This is true across the whole creative sector, not just film and television. It's true of digital, and that is something that we need to take into account in moving to the future. 

So, that's where I think the priority should be now and, of course, that will have to lead to the development of skills for the next phase. I don't want to take too much time, but the support provided now, which you'll be aware of, such as the restart schemes, it would be excellent if those could be extended. So, those are the main things, in my view. 

Diolch am hynna, Dyfrig. Rwy'n ymwybodol bod hwn yn gwestiwn enfawr a rili, rili bwysig. Rydyn ni'n eithaf prin o amser, felly, os gallaf ofyn, os oes rhywun eisiau ychwanegu pethau, i bawb fod mor gryno ag maen nhw'n gallu bodm ar faes mor fawr ac mor bwysig. Fe wnawn ni ddod at Pauline yn gyntaf, ac wedyn Clara, ac wedyn Sara. Mae pawb eisiau. Ocê, Pauline. 

Thank you for that, Dyfrig. I know that this is a huge question to answer, and it's a very important one. But, as we're quite short of time, if anybody wants to add anything, could you please be as succinct as possible, on such a huge area? We'll come to Pauline first, and then Clara, and then Sara, as everyone wants to contribute. Okay, Pauline.

I appreciate it's an enormous question. To top line, then, our priorities for you in terms of a suggestion or recommendation would be skills, the green agenda and further cultural recovery funds, specifically around cinemas. So, just to very briefly tap into that, from a skills perspective in the creative industries for screen, we've got huge demand—unprecedented demand—across all of the different jobs that you can imagine behind the camera, and a lot of these involve transferrable skills. So, whether it's looking at construction, painting and decorating, administration, finance, driving, catering, all of these jobs that we have right the way across our economy are in significant demand in the screen sector. So, we're very interested in things like short conversion courses that can help people transfer across sectors into where there are jobs, and they are well paid, high-quality jobs in a growth sector. And we do need to put proper funding into this and to really accelerate the skills strategy around creative industries. So, that would be an absolute top priority for us.

From a green sector point of view, I'm working very closely with Sara, both at Clwstwr and with the new media.cymru bid, which Sara will add into. And we have the green strand as our particular focus, which is looking at new products and services that can enable the sector to have green choices in the way that they work, looking particularly at things like transport, waste disposal, and energy for our sector. So, how do we make those choices easier for people working in the sector?

And from a cultural recovery fund point of view, just to really say, cinemas have had an incredibly tough time. The cultural recovery funds that have been available have been vital to actually enabling them to continue to exist, but they continue to have a tough time. We know that the mandatory COVID passes have recently come into play, we've seen significant downturn in cinema admissions off the back of that, and I think, actually, that's probably not so much to do with the fact that the pass is there, but how it's been introduced. There's a lack of information and understanding about who it applies to and how, and marketing aspects. And I'm fully expecting that venues will need further financial support as a result.

11:05

Thank you, Pauline. That may well be something that we come back to later on in the session. Forgive me for keeping on asking for brief answers, but it's because time is really against us. Sara, if I could ask for as top-line an answer as possible, please.

Absolutely. It's a huge area, but I think the important considerations for this committee and for the Government are about supporting recovery and then building resilience post COVID, and creating the conditions for businesses, for what was business as usual, whatever the future of that looks like. And then, looking at some absolute cross-cutting themes that are going to be essential going forward, some of which have been mentioned—digital and technology, skills, Brexit, future jobs and talent pipeline, particularly with a thought around freelancers, and net-zero requirements and opportunity. And then, certainly from my perspective, a big consideration of the role that innovation and research and development can play in that to support the growth and development of the sector in the future.

Diolch, Sara. Ac yn olaf, Clara.

Thank you, Sara. And finally, Clara.

I think, for music venues, the big one is owning their own venues. Venue operators need to own their own venues in order to create long-term resilience and sustainability. If they were to do that, they could then improve things like ventilation. At the moment, they can't take that long-term mindset because, essentially, they're improving a venue for a private landlord. So, things like ownership, moving into benevolent forms of ownership, community share offers. I know that the Le Public Space in Newport was one of the first venues, not only in Wales but in the entire UK, to take that model and that made them a lot more resilient during the pandemic. 

And then, secondly, I think, for venues and funding generally, grass-roots music venues were able to access funding in Wales, really for the first time, and that kind of opened the cultural envelope for them and it made a huge difference. So, I think continuing that access to funding, continuing to recognise grass-roots music venues as culturally relevant by Welsh Government and the culture committee and Creative Wales is incredibly important. So, I'd like to see that going forward as well.

Diolch, Clara. Diolch am hynna. Mae'n flin gen i, bydd yn rhaid inni symud ymlaen, ond os oes unrhyw beth ychwanegol mae unrhyw un eisiau ei roi mewn ysgrifen i ni fel pwyllgor, byddwn ni'n ddiolchgar iawn am hynny. Fe wnawn ni symud ymlaen at Heledd Fychan.

Thank you for that. I'm sorry, we will have to move on, but if there's anything additional that you would like to send in in writing, we'd be very grateful for that additional information as well. We'll move on to Heledd Fychan.

Diolch yn fawr iawn, a diolch ichi i gyd. I just wanted to start by picking up on Pauline's point about the cultural recovery fund and perhaps just a quick question to start off with in terms of whether all the panel agrees that there should be a third cultural recovery fund.

No. That's helpful, thank you. I said it would be a brief 'yes' or 'no' there. If I may, you've emphasised to us, as did the previous panel, in terms of skills and the challenges both pre COVID as well as being exacerbated by COVID, with people leaving the sectors, and so on, because of challenges. What do you think are the barriers, or how can we best support developing skills now so that we are able to upskill people or train people to join this incredibly important sector? What would you like to see being done now to address that gap in terms of skills?

Pwy sydd eisiau mynd yn gyntaf? Dyfrig.

Who wants to go first? Dyfrig.

11:10

Wel, un o'r pethau byddwn i'n croesawu eu gweld byddai ymestyn cyfleoedd i brentisiaid. Hynny yw, nid dim ond pobl sydd wedi penderfynu mynd i wneud gradd neu rywbeth felly, ond o ran prentisiaid a chael pobl mewn o ran sgiliau ymarferol fel yna—ac rydyn ni wedi clywed pobl eraill yn sôn am y rheini; byddai hynny'n beth mawr i'w wneud—ac fel maen nhw'n cydweithio â beth yw'r elfen fentora.

Wedyn, o ran hyfforddiant, a dyna beth rydyn ni'n sôn amdano fan hyn wrth ein bod ni'n rhoi cyfle i gael sgil arall i bobl, mae TAC yn gwneud llawer o hyn gyda chymorth S4C yn barod, sef ein bod ni'n cynnal cyrsiau byr. Mae lot ohonyn nhw wedi bod ar-lein. Mae yna dros 500 o bobl wedi cymryd rhan y llynedd, er enghraifft, gyda ni. Rŷn ni wedi bod yn cynnig y rheini am ddim i bobl lawrydd, a wedyn mae hwnna'n arwain pobl i ddod atom ni wedyn gyda'r sgiliau cywir.

Felly, prentisiaid, byddwn i'n dweud, cyrsiau byr, a pheidio â meddwl ei fod e'n gorfod bod yn gwrs sydd yn para llawer iawn o amser. Mae mentora hefyd yn mynd i fod yn bwysig, o safbwynt fe ddylai cwmnïau gael eu mentora ar sut mae delio â phrentisiaid, achos dwi'n teimlo ambell waith nad yw cwmnïau efallai yn gwybod yn iawn sut mae rhoi'r cyfleoedd gorau i brentisiaid a'u datblygu nhw felly ar gyfer gwaith yn y sector. 

Well, one of the things that I would welcome would be to extend opportunities for apprenticeships. That is, not just for those who've decided to study a degree or similar, but in terms of apprenticeships and getting people in to learn practical skills—and we've heard mention of this already; that would be a major step forward—and then how they go hand in hand with mentoring.

And in terms of training, and that's what we're talking about here as we provide people with an opportunity to gain new skills, TAC does a great deal of this with the support of S4C already, in that we hold a number of short courses. A lot of them are online. Over 500 people participated last year. We've been offering those courses free of charge to freelancers, and then that leads people to join us with the right skill set.

So, apprenticeships, I'd say, short courses, and not thinking that it has to be a course that goes on over many months or years. Mentoring is also going to be very important, because companies should be mentored in terms of how to deal with apprentices, because I sometimes feel that companies perhaps don't know exactly how to provide the best opportunities to apprentices and to develop them to work in the sector. 

Oes unrhyw un eisiau ychwanegu? Pauline.

Does anybody want to add anything? Pauline.

I'd like to see Creative Wales working in partnership with their skills colleagues in Government to really accelerate the skills strategy, from which the funding priorities will flow. I think it's really important because of the scale of the challenge. As I touched on before, we are talking about skills that are not siloed to the creative sector but are applicable more widely, so we need to be sighted to what are all the levers within Government available to respond to the skills needs. I would really urge Government to be looking at what is an inclusive skills strategy within that.

I would point to one of our own programmes, Foot in the Door, as an example that looks particularly at socioeconomic exclusion. We work in partnership with housing associations, job centres, grass-roots organisations, to facilitate people into the industry and apply the skills they have. So, what is already out there that can be scaled and replicated and built upon? I think that's really important. And, to add to the previous point around apprenticeships, I think in the creative industries it's particularly important that we look at shared apprenticeships, because it's very difficult on project-to-project level business to make this sort of standard apprenticeship programme work for the creative industries, whereas shared apprenticeships really opens up opportunities. At the moment, this is being done on quite a small scale, albeit very successfully, by SkillsCymru, and it would be fantastic to see that scaled up.

From a grass-roots perspective, one thing I am quite concerned about is succession—and it might be similar in other creative fields as well—where, in a grass-roots situation, you might join a venue at 20 and then you become the general manager and then you leave at 60, 70, when you retire, and so the venue is built around, really, one person and it becomes sort of attached to one person. But, obviously, that means longer term it's actually not that resilient. So, I think programmes that get either maybe apprenticeships or just people working in venues and using it as a pipeline is really important.

Music Venue Trust had a programme pre-pandemic called Fightback: Grassroots Promoter, which is trying to get young women into promoting at grass-roots level, because hopefully that would kickstart their interest and they'd want to continue that and it would help with that issue of longer term resilience and succession. But I think this really is a core concern of mine, and I think it needs to be addressed in order to make a very resilient sector overall.

I think excellent points made by colleagues, and I'd absolutely concur with all of them. I think one thing to add is about requesting Welsh Government to really think about a long-term strategy for skills. I feel like skills has been an issue for this sector for quite a long time—quite long enough now, actually. This is a sector that is growing, has been on a growth trajectory, and, despite the blip of the last 18 months, is also showing some real roots and shoots and opportunities for the future. So, I think that we have to really think about a longer-term strategy that is adequately funded to support that potential growth trajectory. Because either what we can do is set a strategy that supports what is now and what we could be doing in the next year or 18 months, or we could look at the potential for the innovation, the technology, the digitally enabled innovation, that's going to be coming down the line and is coming down the line very rapidly, and we could create a strategy that supports and enables that. 

And my final point then is that, to do that, there has to also be a real joining up with other departments in Government. We need to be talking to the education department. We need to be thinking about what are the 10-year-olds learning and doing now that will enable them to be the workforce of the future. So, it's a very big joining up piece of work, but lots of people have been pushing and lobbying in this space for a long time. We need to see action now. Action is vital.

11:15

Diolch yn fawr iawn, a diolch am y negeseuon clir iawn yna i ni fel pwyllgor. Mi fyddwch chi'n ymwybodol bod Llywodraeth Cymru, y Dirprwy Weinidog, wedi ymrwymo y bydd yna strategaeth ddiwylliant newydd yn ystod tymor y Senedd hwn. Beth fyddech chi'n hoffi ei weld yn y strategaeth yna yn benodol o ran y creadigrwydd? Dŷch chi wedi sôn am sgiliau; yn amlwg mae hynny yn gorfod bod yn un rhan. Beth arall hoffech chi weld pwyslais arno mewn strategaeth o'r fath?

Thank you very much, and thank you for those very clear messages for us as a committee. You'll be aware that the Welsh Government and the Deputy Minister have committed to a new culture strategy during the term of this Senedd. So, what would you like to see in that strategy, specifically in terms of the creative industries? You've talked about skills; clearly that has to be one part of the strategy. But what else would you like to see being emphasised in such a strategy?

I'm going to jump straight in there and fly the flag for innovation. That must be a really key part of what that strategy is going forward. I'm not hearing enough talk about innovation and research and development and growing new businesses, new opportunities, and getting them to a point of them being commercially sustainable, or at least adding value in all the different ways that we need to do so, or that the cultural sector does so well around health and well-being, around education, around identity, around language and culture. But innovation has to drive all of that. It doesn't matter where an organisation or an individual working in the creative sector is doing their work, whether it's on a subsidised project or company through to a very commercial part of the sector; we're looking at the full span of the creative and cultural industries here and the wider creative economy. So, I think innovation for me has to be up there at the heart of this, as well as—I've talked a lot; it's very much linked—digital and technology. We have to absolutely have—. The two have to be sewn in together. 

I think, from my perspective, I would like the words 'grassroots music venue' to be included in policies. It sounds obvious, but sometimes, with these types of policies, people sort of dance around what they mean, and, actually, just using the words 'grassroots music venues'—if you want to protect grassroots music venues, use the words 'grassroots music venues'. So, I think that is a really important thing, just recognising that venues now are seen as cultural entities rather than just commercial entities. We are the same as theatres and cinemas and other arts spaces in the creative economy. So, recognising that the envelope for that has been widened and we're included in it. 

A deall felly'r cydbwysedd pwysig yna rhwng gwaith a hamdden, sydd wrth gwrs yn bwydo mewn i ddiwylliant yn anuniongyrchol; os oes mwy o amser hamdden gyda chi, y mwy ŷch chi'n ymwneud â diwylliant. Ac mae'r diwylliant hefyd yn golygu eich bod chi mewn gwirionedd yn gallu ymgymryd ar draws y sectorau i gyd wedyn. 

Ond, ar hyn o bryd, dwi'n credu mai un o'r pethau sy'n wynebu ni, wrth ein bod ni'n trio dod mas o COVID, yw gweithio oriau hirach am lai o arian, ac felly dyw'r cydbwysedd a'r ochr llesiant ddim yn cael y sylw ddylai fe. Felly, dwi'n falch bod y cwestiwn yn cael ei ofyn, os caf i ddweud, achos mae yn bwysig iawn, iawn yn y ffordd rŷn ni'n meddwl am bethau hefyd wrth symud ymlaen. 

And to understand that important balance between work and leisure, which of course feeds indirectly into culture; if you have more leisure time, then the more you can engage with culture. And the culture also means that you can participate across all sectors. 

But, at the moment, I think one of the things facing us as we seek to come out of COVID is that we're working longer hours for less money, and then that balance and that well-being side of things isn't given the attention it should. So, I'm pleased that the question is being asked because it's very important indeed in the way we think about things as we move forward. 

Ie, pwysig. Diolch, Dyfrig. A Pauline. 

Yes, very important. Thank you. Pauline. 

I'd like them to think quite carefully about where the intersections are with other partners, particularly the arts council—because we tend to, even now, get this kind of false dichotomy between what's economy and what's culture, what's arts, what's culture; well, it's a continuum, and we are in a creative business and both need to be reflected—and to really think through what that means.

We need to think about the overall ecosystem. As Sara said earlier, freelancers are absolutely vital to this sector, and we need to think about the sort of stickiness as to how they're supported in the lulls as well as when we're thriving, to look at businesses, the sustainability of businesses within that, and how we can support that.

And I think also, more broadly, as I said before, the green agenda, the inclusive agenda, and also well-being, which is something that is being talked about an awful lot, and that's long overdue: what are the kind of practices within the cultural sector that we need to look at again and think about redesigning so that people can thrive individually, as well as looking at our businesses?

Diolch am hynna. Heledd, bydd yn rhaid i ni symud ymlaen yn eithaf buan. Oedd unrhyw beth arall roeddech chi eisiau ei ofyn?

Thank you for that. Heledd, we will have to move on fairly swiftly. Is there anything else that you wanted to ask?

11:20

Yr unig beth arall roeddwn i eisiau ei ofyn oedd o ran y cyfleodd ledled Cymru. Dwi'n ymwybodol o'r cynllun y mae Sara wedi bod yn rhan ohono fo, o ran Caerdydd yn benodol. Ond, o ran y cyfleoedd ledled Cymru, oes yna bethau pellach sydd angen cael eu gwneud i sicrhau bod cyfleoedd cyfartal i bawb, lle bynnag y bo nhw, o ran y diwydiant hwn?

The only other question that I wanted to ask was on the opportunities the length and breadth of Wales. I'm aware of the scheme that Sara has been part of in terms of Cardiff specifically. But, with regard to the opportunities across Wales, are there any further steps that need to be taken to ensure that there are equal opportunities for everyone, wherever they live, in terms of this industry?

Fe wnawn ni fynd at Sara am hwnna, felly. Sori, fe wnawn ni fynd at Sara, ac wedyn fe wnaf i fynd at Pauline.

We'll go to Sara for that. Sorry, we'll go to Sara, and then we'll go to Pauline.

I think the simple answer, Heledd, is, absolutely, 'yes'. I think you've hit on a really important point. We do need to consider the nation as a whole and in terms of the needs of the sector as a whole. It's an interesting way that the sector connects together in terms of the agglomeration in the south-east, but also then the connections to the rest of Wales. It's very important for us to—. One point I forgot to make in the previous answer was around data, and knowing and mapping and seeing what's happening, and being very cognisant and mindful of that, so we can fully take those opportunities where there are hotspots, where there are opportunities, where there are gaps.

I think, referring to some of Pauline's points as well, this is about also working with partners to deliver in those spaces. Some of the work schemes that are coming online—for example, Clwstwr is one that you referred to, Heledd; media.cymru is similar—are place-based initiatives. So, we have to mark out places. What we've tried to do in those schemes is work with colleagues at Welsh Government and others to enable opportunities. We've funded a number of projects across Wales through Clwstwr, and we'll continue to do that in media.cymru, where there's a sensible narrative, where there's an opportunity, where there's a hotspot, where there's the potential for growth and development.

But I think you raise an important point, Heledd; I think it's important that we all undertake work to be more mindful of where those hotspots and those opportunities are, and then put in additional—. There needs to be—. As many interventions as we have already had, we need two, three, more Clwstwr-type initiatives; we just need more. That means regions and locations need to be well-networked, well-connected, to be able to bid in to these sorts of schemes, to create opportunities that are fitting and appropriate for that location and what's happening within it.

Pauline, os gallaf i ofyn am ateb cymharol fyr, plis, achos bydd yn rhaid inni symud ymlaen at Alun Davies mewn munud, ond roeddech chi eisiau dweud rhywbeth ar hyn.

Pauline, if I could ask for a relatively short answer, please, because we do need to move on to Alun Davies, but you wanted to say something on this.

I was just going to say that cinemas, universities, they're also great catalysts for the sector, and they are often partners, delivering across Wales. So, thinking about how those cultural spaces are place-making spaces that can connect, offer training opportunities, et cetera, new entrants. We are seeing production right the way across the sector, and right the way across Wales, so I think it is a success story from that point of view. But from—[Interruption.] Sorry, my dog's barking in the background.

I'd just also say that we should continue to look at what we've gained during COVID from digital delivery. We've certainly seen, from the training perspective, that we've doubled the reach right the way across Wales. And that's not only about geographic reach, it's also people who are living with a disability, for example, who have been able to access training much more readily in many cases. So, I think continuing some hybrid offers in that space is quite important.

Diolch, Pauline. Fe wnawn ni symud ymlaen at Alun Davies.

Thank you, Pauline. We'll move on to Alun Davies.

Thank you. I want to return to the spectre at the feast, in terms of COVID. Could I start by—? I think the only member of the panel for whom this is probably relevant is Clara, in terms of COVID passes. Do any of your venues, or the venues you represent, have any experience of using the COVID pass? How has its introduction affected the sector?

Sure. So, I was on the phone to a venue yesterday, and they said to me that the introduction of the COVID pass had meant that they had to spend £120 more on security every week, just to ensure that the entry requirements are being adhered to. So, that's a direct financial increase. We're trying to track the actual impact in terms of ticket sales and on-the-door impact. What we're seeing at the moment is there has been a slight decline in on-the-door impact, but I think at the moment, really, it's the financial burdens, or the increase in the financial costs around implementing the pass, that I think venues are struggling with in comparison to other types of hospitality industry spaces. So, yes, there has been an impact for sure.

11:25

I would have anticipated that many of your venues would seek to ensure ID is used before entry in any case, wouldn't they?

They were already doing that as well, but it's basically to ensure that the measures are being effectively implemented. What we're seeing on the ground anecdotally is that there is—. I guess, enforcement is an issue. There is some backlash in terms of the punters being slightly aggressive in the enforcement or not quite understanding the messaging, so that's an additional burden as well, which I think a lot of our venues are slightly concerned about, because obviously, they're on the front line of having to deal with those interactions.

I think it's interesting that you didn't immediately spot that cinemas are also included in the COVID passes as a mandatory measure. We're equally seeing a negative impact. I think a lot of it is about the way it has been brought in, just to disaggregate it—the fact that it's there at all. Because we have been short of marketing assets for cinemas to get out there and be able to communicate with their audiences about what's actually required of them. Even now, we don't have, on the Welsh Government's website, the clarity that we, yesterday, managed to get in terms of details from officials that it only applies to cinemas that are designed for that primary purpose and not, for example, community venues, village halls, miners' halls, et cetera, which are also used for screening. There's a lot of confusion out there about that. A lot of those other sites think that it does apply to that and they are even now advertising that that's what you need to do—have a COVID pass—when it's not actually the case in terms of official advice.

We are seeing a number of economic repercussions. So, you've got staff needed for longer and more staff required in order to do the checks in advance. Cinema is renowned for walk-ups, rather than pre-booking that you might see in theatre spaces, for example. And also, on average in the UK, people don't go to the cinema every week in the same way that you'd go shopping every week. If you'd go shopping every week and you had to have a COVID pass, you would get it, but if you only go to the cinema two or three times a year, which is the average UK level, you're not necessarily going to go out there and think, 'Oh, I must get my pass'. So, it's not habitual in the same way. So, I think from a behavioural point of view, that's a barrier for bringing it in. And we are seeing venues—it's still early days, obviously—reporting dips of between 43 and 51 per cent from previous admissions, pre COVID passes, already. And we have got comparisons from the UK Cinema Association, where they can do direct comparisons elsewhere in the UK, because they're chains. We're continuing to collect that data and we'll share it with officials.

I would be interested in that data, because the evidence you've given does chime with evidence we've received earlier this morning, but it is all anecdotal. And I do find it a bit odd—I'll be using my COVID pass this evening to go and watch Cardiff City struggle again, and I find it somewhat curious that the arts community is struggling with this, whereas other sectors, such as the sports sector, don't seem to have had the same issue at all.

I think, with respect, that's an issue of numbers and also of marketing. So, if you go to a big game and there are thousands of people walking up, you're going to have a level of awareness that's quite different than if you're going to a cinema that might only have 20 or 30 people in their audience, sometimes fewer. And we also have an age demographic where people are not necessarily online—they're not necessarily tracking what the latest official guidance is. The advice and the guidance—you've got to spend a lot of time digging around trying to find it and members of the public are not going to be doing that.

Well, I don't find that very convincing evidence, I have to say. But we'll leave it at that, because other members of the public seem perfectly able to understand it. I used COVID passes in Scotland on my summer holidays without any difficulty, so I'm not convinced by the argument that the demographic that goes to cinemas is a demographic that's not actively online. I don't find that very convincing.

We're happy to share the evidence.

Yes, I'm sure you are, and I'd be happy for the committee to receive that. 

In terms of moving on with COVID, all members of the panel were very clear earlier that additional funding from Welsh Government would be useful, and clearly that's fair enough. But I'm interested to understand what you are doing as organisations to support and to sustain either your members or people you represent through this period. What advice are you providing, what support are you providing to these different organisations?

Ydych chi eisiau dechrau, Dyfrig?

Do you want to start, Dyfrig?

11:30

O safbwynt ein haelodau ni, beth ŷn ni wedi'i wneud yw cyfathrebu ffyrdd diogel o weithio. Rŷn ni hefyd wedi cyfathrebu lle mae yna gymorth ariannol ar gael a beth ddylid mynd ato. A hefyd, wrth gwrs, sut mae, o safbwynt yr ochr busnes, yr awdurdodau lleol yn gallu cynorthwyo gyda hynny. Felly, rhannu gwybodaeth, cynnal cymaint o gyrsiau a hyfforddiant ag sy'n bosib, a sicrhau bod pobl yn ymwybodol o sut mae gweithio'n ddiogel.

Dim fy mod i eisiau codi sgwarnog arall, ond un o'r problemau mawr fydd yn ein hwynebu ni fydd pris tanwydd wrth symud ymlaen, o ystyried gweithio'n ddiogel. Er enghraifft, mae ein haelodau ni yn teithio ar eu pennau eu hunain ar hyn o bryd—dyw hwnna ddim yn dda i'r amgylchedd; mae hwnna'n broblem arall. Ond, yn y tymor byr, byr, gyda phris tanwydd yr hyn yw e, mae e'n mynd i achosi pob math o broblemau, a dweud y gwir, i'r sector wrth symud ymlaen. Felly, mae hwnna'n bwynt. Ond, beth bynnag, rhannu gwybodaeth yw'r peth pwysicach rŷn ni wedi bod yn ei wneud, a'i gwneud hi drwy gyrsiau hyfforddi ar-lein, fel dwi eisoes wedi sôn—mae dros 33 o'r rheini wedi cael eu cynnal—a wedyn, wrth gwrs, rhannu arferion da.

From our members' perspective, what we do is communicate safe ways of working. We're also communicating where financial support is available and how to access it. And, from a business perspective, how local authorities can assist. So, we share information, we hold as much training as possible and ensure that people are aware of how they can work safely.

Not that I want to raise another red herring, but another problem that could face us will be the price of fuel in moving forward, in considering working safely. Our members are travelling alone at the moment. That isn't good for the environment, of course, and that's another problem. But, in the very short term, with fuel prices as they are, it's going to cause all sorts of problems to the sector in moving forward. So, that's another point. But, information sharing is the most important thing we've been doing, and we've been doing that through online training courses, as I've already mentioned—over 33 of those have been held—and then sharing good practice too.

Oedd unrhyw un eisiau ychwanegu at hynny? Mae Sara wedi rhoi ei llaw i fyny.

Did anybody else want to add to that? Sara's put her hand up.

Thank you, Chair. I think, in a similar way to Dyfrig, through a number of different schemes and projects we run, like Creative Cardiff and Clwstwr, we've been communicating information around resource and support opportunities; I think that's important to do ongoing.

Also we have funding to distribute, and we've not gone a million miles from what our key strategic aims and ambitions are in that activity, but we've had to think and evolve slightly those competitions, opportunities, commissions for when funding can be distributed to support the sector in the most supportive way. And I've mentioned several times in the session this morning about this encouragement for innovation. It might seem like an unusual thing when everyone's going through a pandemic, but when certain business drops away, then that potentially gives rise to time capability, skill development, and the opportunity for innovating to move through that or to take up opportunities that were there that weren't there previously because business as usual was taking up all the time. So, we've been supporting that narrative as well as funding opportunities to enable innovation in that space with technology, yes, but innovating in a whole range of different ways.

I think we've also been through that work trying to encourage a greater understanding with audiences. Because we've talked a lot about this sector today, but you can't have this conversation without considering audiences, because, essentially, they are the other half of the picture here. And audiences have changed and evolved as opportunities and challenges have changed and evolved in the last 18 months. So, I think us talking to the sector about that is really, really important, because it's great to say, 'Oh, put everything online, go digital.' It's really not that straightforward; I think we're all very clear about that. There have been some real winners and there have been lots of mediocre to not-going-so-well in that whole process, and that presents risks to businesses. And audiences have changed, and there are opportunities. We need to understand those, so we can fully grasp what that presents to individuals, to businesses and to Wales. And, likewise, we've talked a lot about skills—we've been working a lot to champion support, develop thinking around skills development, which is essential right now, in the way we've discussed this morning.

Diolch, Sara. We are into our final six minutes, so we would need to move on relatively soon. But, Clara and Pauline, you wanted to add something. If I could ask for as brief an answer as possible, please.

I think for the Music Venue Trust, it actually became almost the making of us. We went from a team of two full-time employees to over a team of 15, which included our regional and national co-ordinators—and some of you may know Sam, who's our Welsh co-ordinator. We did a thing called Save Our Venues, which was a public-facing campaign. That raised over £5 million that was distributed to venues in emergency crisis grants. Things like Revive Live, which was our campaign over the summer, which was about getting audiences back into small venues—that was a partnership with the National Lottery to underwrite the shows costs, which meant that venues could open up, it meant that artists got paid and they could go back on the road and get audiences back into venues. And I think, like my fellow panellists said, information sharing really became one of the most important things we did. As a central organisation like MVT we were able to distribute to our members all the information as it changed, and attend all the different Government meetings and committee meetings and make sure that the voice of grass-roots music venues was represented in those meetings. I think, actually, that had a very impactful impact on just making sure that we were recognised in this crisis.

11:35

Pauline, and then we'll be moving on to the final section in a moment. Pauline.

We've documented quite a lot of what we've done previously, so I can just share that in writing with the committee. Essentially, we pivoted all of our funding in the first year, so there was more emphasis on development when production couldn't happen. We spent a lot of time working with colleagues across the UK, and particularly the BFI, in quite an extensive joined-up stakeholder set of working groups that then advised on policy development, within devolved Government context and UK Government context. In particular, that led to the £500 million film and tv restart scheme, which effectively backs up the fact that insurance isn't available for COVID-related loss. And until that was in place, you couldn't get production going again. So, that was the most important thing, really, that we did to get production going. And we worked very closely with Creative Wales in the design of the cultural recovery fund as it relates to cinemas and freelances in particular.

If you could write to us with any further information you have on that, that would be fantastic, please. We have three minutes left of our scheduled time, but there is one final section that we wanted to raise. Alun Davies is going to raise Brexit.

Yes, just very quickly. Our first panel this morning had nothing good to say about Brexit, and I was just wondering if you were going to confirm that, or whether you had any light to shine on this darkness. 

Wel, efallai fy mod i'n cytuno gyda'r hyn rŷch chi eisoes wedi'i glywed. Mae e'n creu pob math o broblemau; mae'n syml o safbwynt y sector y mae TAC yn ei gynrychioli—hynny yw, cael talent i fynd allan ac i ddod nôl a chyfnewid. Pan ŷch chi'n mynd mas i weithio neu ffilmio, mae yna bob math o rwystrau yn codi yn y fan honno a phob math o ansicrwydd sy'n arwain at gostau ychwanegol. Ac mae hwnna hefyd yn golygu, pan fyddwch chi'n dod i werthu a hyd yn oed i fasnachu, gan fod yna bob math o trade deals yn cael eu gwneud, ychydig iawn, iawn o ystyriaeth sy'n cael ei wneud i sut mae hwnna'n effeithio ar gyfnewid y deunydd a'r cynnwys ac yn y blaen rŷn ni'n ei gynhyrchu. Felly, dyna'r problemau. Dyw e ddim wedi bod yn beth da. Mae'n rhaid inni obeithio bod pethau'n mynd i ddod yn gallach a'n bod ni'n gallu mynd ymlaen gyda'n gilydd ar hwn.

Well, perhaps I'd agree with what you've already heard. It's creating all sorts of problems, quite simply, in terms of the sector that TAC represents, such as getting talent to travel and to exchange ideas. When you go out to work or film, there are all sorts of barriers in place now and all sorts of uncertainties that lead to additional costs too. And that too means that when you do come to sell productions and to trade, because there all sorts of trade deals being done, very little consideration is given to how that will impact the exchange of content that we produce. So, those are the problems. It hasn't been a positive thing. We can only hope that things will come to some sort of order and that we can move forward together.

Diolch, Dyfrig. Oedd unrhyw un ar-lein eisiau ychwanegu unrhyw beth ar hyn? Mae gyda ni funud a hanner ar ôl, ond byddwn ni'n gallu rhedeg drosodd ychydig funudau os oes unrhyw un eisiau ychwanegu rhywbeth. Sara.

Thank you, Dyfrig. Does anybody online want to add anything on this? We have a minute and a half left, but does anybody else have anything to add? We can run over a few minutes if you do want to add anything there. Sara.

I was just going to say, Sara, before you start—

I'm sure I can do this in under a minute. We did a piece of research in 2019 that looked at the potential impacts of Brexit, and they showed very high levels of concern for business. I think all of those concerns were well justified, and unfortunately we've seen that and some. So, we're seeing significant ongoing impacts around a decline in business, higher costs, issues around access to talent and mobility being a big issue across the creative spectrum, supply chain issues, reputational damage and access to funding.

Sara, would it be possible for you to furnish the committee with that research from 2019, but also any updates you have on that—any commentaries that you could lay alongside those predictions? 

Thank you very much.

Clara neu Pauline, oeddech chi eisiau ychwanegu unrhyw beth?

Clara or Pauline, did you want to add anything on that point?

The only thing I would add is that I think what we're going to see with the additional costs and the barriers is that the stage at which artists tour Europe and vice versa will become when they're slightly more established, rather than at a grass-roots level, which we saw pre Brexit. So, often, you'd get DIY bands and grass-roots bands touring Europe quite easily. I think what you'll probably end up seeing is that the decision to tour Europe and from European artists coming here will start at a later stage in the artist's development, because it will cost more and therefore you need to be more established to do it.

11:40

I think in some ways it's still actually too early to tell from a production point of view because of just how long it takes, lead-in time, and so I just put a little bit of a caveat on that, that we're still tracking that. I think that there's a bigger issue coming down the line around whether or not content from the UK will continue to be known as European works, and that is a very live debate within Europe right now. If we aren't continued on that basis, that will have very significant implications, because it will affect content being able to be included in all the quotas that apply to the streamers, et cetera. So, that's something, I think, that the committee should keep an eye on.

Thank you.

Diolch yn fawr iawn. Mae'n flin gen i ein bod ni'n gorfod dod â'r sesiwn yma i ben, ond diolch yn fawr iawn i chi i gyd fel tystion am eich tystiolaeth y bore yma. Diolch am fod yn amyneddgar gyda'r ffaith bod amser yn ein herbyn hefyd. Rydym ni wir yn gwerthfawrogi hynna. Bydd transcript yn cael ei ddanfon atoch chi i chi wirio ynglŷn â beth dŷch chi wedi ei ddweud heddiw, ac mae nifer ohonoch chi wedi sôn am y ffaith y byddwch chi'n ysgrifennu atom ni gyda mwy o wybodaeth, a byddwn ni'n ddiolchgar iawn am hynny. Ond diolch yn fawr iawn ichi am fod gyda ni'r bore yma. Diolch.

Thank you very much. I'm sorry we do have to draw the session to a close, but thank you very much to all of you, witnesses, for your evidence this morning. Thank you for being so patient with the fact that time was against us this morning, we really do appreciate it. A transcript of the discussion will be sent to you to check for accuracy with regard to what you said, and several of you have mentioned that you will be writing to us with additional information. We will be very grateful for that, too. But thank you very much for joining us this morning, thank you.

4. Papurau i'w nodi
4. Papers to note

Aelodau, byddwn ni'n symud yn syth ymlaen at eitem 4, sef papurau i'w nodi. Mae nifer o bapurau gennym ni i'w nodi. Eitem 4.1, llythyr gan Gadeirydd y Pwyllgor Deddfwriaeth, Cyfiawnder a’r Cyfansoddiad atom ni ynglŷn â Thribiwnlys y Gymraeg: adroddiad blynyddol. Eitem 4.2, llythyr gan Gomisiynydd y Gymraeg atom ni ynglŷn â chymorth ar gyfer y Gymraeg a gwaith craffu blynyddol. Eitem 4.3, gwybodaeth ychwanegol gan Undeb Rygbi Cymru yn dilyn yr ymchwiliad undydd ar chwaraeon. Eitem 4.4, gwybodaeth ychwanegol gan Chwaraeon Cymru yn dilyn yr un ymchwiliad undydd. Nesaf, llythyr gan y Prif Weinidog at Gadeirydd y Pwyllgor Deddfwriaeth, Cyfiawnder a’r Cyfansoddiad ynghylch y cytundeb cysylltiadau rhyngwladol: uwchgynhadledd y Cyngor Prydeinig-Gwyddelig yng Nghymru. Eitem 4.6, llythyr ar y cyd atom ni ynghylch materion sy'n effeithio ar leoliadau'r celfyddydau. Eitem 4.7, llythyr—

Members, we'll move straight on to item 4, which is papers to note. There are a number of papers here for us to note: item 4.1, a letter from the Chair of the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee to us with regard to the Welsh Language Tribunal annual report. Item 4.2, a letter from the Welsh Language Commissioner to us with regard to support for the Welsh language and annual scrutiny. Item 4.3, additional information from the Welsh Rugby Union following the one-day inquiry on sport. Item 4.4, additional information from Sport Wales following the one-day inquiry on sport, the same inquiry there. Item 4.5, a letter from the First Minister to the Chair of the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee regarding the inter-institutional relations agreement with regard to the British-Irish Council summit in Wales. Item 4.6, a joint letter to us with regard to issues facing arts venues. Item 4.7, a letter—

Can I say a word on that? Many of the issues raised in that correspondence have been raised with us by witnesses this morning, and there does seem to be a quite significant crossover of issues, particularly in terms of recovery from COVID and dealing with continuing restrictions. I don't think it would be fair simply to note that letter and not consider whether we as a committee wish to take any action, having received that correspondence.

Diolch, Alun. Mae Heledd eisiau dod i mewn ar hyn hefyd. Heledd.

Thank you, Alun. Heledd wants to come in on this as well. Heledd.

Byddwn i'n cefnogi Alun ar hynny. Yn sicr, dwi'n meddwl mai'r neges a gawson ni'n glir o ran y cultural recovery fund a'r angen am drydedd un—a dwi'n meddwl mai ymateb y Dirprwy Weinidog—. Byddwn i yn hoffi gweld gweithredu ar sail y llythyr hwn i ofyn am fwy o eglurder o ran y cyllid ac hefyd mwy o eglurder o ran y cais a wnaeth Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru am arian ychwanegol a beth fydd hwnnw'n mynd tuag at hefyd, ac os mai hwn fydd y trydydd cultural recovery fund mewn gwirionedd.

Yes, I would support Alun with that proposal. Certainly, I think the message that we received very clearly in terms of the cultural recovery fund and the need for a third tranche of that, and I think the Deputy Minister's response—. I think that we would like to see action being taken on the basis of this letter to ask for greater clarity with regard to the funding and more clarity with regard to the bid that the Arts Council of Wales made for additional funding, what will that go towards and whether that will count as the third tranche of the cultural recovery fund, if truth be told.