Details of new funds for creatives across Wales have been revealed by Creative Wales.
Deputy Director of Creative Wales, Gerwyn Evans, shared the information about the Emergency Digital Development Support Fund and Emergency TV Development Fund which open on Monday (20 April).
In a live Q&A online with Sara Pepper, Director of Creative Economy at Cardiff University, Gerwyn explained that Creative Wales had ‘repurposed their whole budget to COVID-19 relief funds’ and that the first strand of funding - Grassroots Music Revenue Fund – providing grants of up to £25,000 - had received an overwhelming response.
To remain consistent, the Emergency TV and Digital funds will also make available grants of up to £25,000 and are 100% funded, not requiring match funding from applicants.
Gerwyn said: “Where possible, we will give the money as quickly as we can upfront. I am very hopeful we can get money to successful applicants as quickly as possible. The application process goes live on Monday – view our social media and website to get access to these application forms.”
The Emergency TV Development Relief Fund will be open to independent TV production companies of any size who are registered in Wales. Projects can be in factual documentary, drama, animation or comedy intended for TV broadcast and should be in the early stage of development to go into production once lockdown restrictions are lifted. Projects for theatrical release or short-form content are not suitable for this scheme.
When discussing the needs of freelancers at this time, as highlighted in Creative Cardiff’s latest research and BECTU’s PAYE freelancer survey, Gerwyn recognised the difficulty in providing funding support to all parts of the economy.
He said: “We have to hold our hands up and be honest here - we recognise it is a gap – an we’ve grappled with how we can support freelancers, but it became very difficult to do. We’re fully aware this is a huge, important part of the sector that we’re unable to support at the moment.
“What we are doing is signposting as much as we can to other funds and wider support. It is about understanding how we can support the freelance community and we think that may be something in the training space – opportunities for freelancers with BECTU for example.”
Emergency Digital Development Support Fund is aimed towards games, animation, digital agencies and creative digital businesses to support the retention of IP which will enable them to grow.
Gerwyn said: “We hope that we’ve designed it in such a way that it is pretty easy for people to come up with an idea and apply. We would like these projects to support freelancers as much as possible as well.”
There are a number of different funds available to creatives, both through Creative Wales and the Welsh Government, as well as other support agencies such as the Arts Council of Wales.
Commenting on this, Gerwyn said: “I do understand this is a confusing picture for people to get to grips with – the Creative Wales team is there to give guidance on the best course of action.
“I don’t have all the answers and I don’t think anybody does at this time. What has been really positive is how the sector has come together – the daily live feedback that you’re sending us is being fed into our approach.
“Please keep on giving your feedback and if we’re not supporting where we should be, let me know.
“I hope we can start to grow this fantastic creative economy in Wales again.”
Applications for the Creative Wales funds open on Monday (20 April) and close on Monday, 18 May with decisions to successful applicants by Monday, 1 June. For more, visit the Creative Wales website.
Gerwyn also answered questions on the Welsh Government’s International Strategy, Creative Wales’ non-executive board and other funds available to creatives. You can watch the full interview with Gerwyn here:
This interview was live captioned with English subtitles in real-time so apologies if the subtitles are inaccurate at times.
Sara Pepper, Director of Creative Economy at Cardiff University, said: “We recognise the effort and contribution from a range of organisations to find ways and means to support the sector at this time and in a constantly developing landscape. Many thanks to Gerwyn for being our first interviewee on the ‘In Conversation With’ series. We look forward to bringing the creative community more information as it is released from Creative Wales and other organisations and funders.
"We are aware that more needs to be done to ensure those who are not eligible for the funds and schemes that have been announced are also supported through and beyond this crisis."
The next In Conversation with… event will be with Rhodri Talfan Davies, Director of BBC Wales on Wednesday, 22 April at 10am. Details are here. Please send any questions about their COVID-19 support to email@example.com.
Our list of resources about the latest funding opportunities during COVID-19 can be found here, we continue to update this list as often as possible.