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Working Together A compact between the Arts Council of Wales and the Voluntary Cultural Sector in Wales

Aim To recognise, value and promote the work of the Voluntary Cultural Sector across Wales, setting out the shared values and broad principles which underpin ‘Working Together’.

Matthew’s Passion Theatr Ffynnon

This will be achieved through working in partnership to monitor the impact and implementation of the Compact through a joint liaison committee. The results of this monitoring will be published and reported to the Arts Council of Wales’ Council and the Welsh Assembly Government’s Arts Strategy Board at the end of each year. The Compact will be comprehensively reviewed at least every three years, the action plan every year. The Arts Council of Wales and the Voluntary Cultural Sector are committed to working within the framework set out in the Welsh Assembly Government’s ‘Voluntary Sector Scheme (2000)’ and promoting and supporting partnerships between the Voluntary Cultural Sector, local authorities and other publicly funded bodies.

Front cover: Rubicon Dance (photo: Roy Campbell-Moore)


Tabú - Nofit State Circus (photo: Seventhwave Imagery)


Making Time Women’s Art Association

The Welsh Assembly Government defines voluntary organisations as: ‘bodies (other than local authorities or other public bodies) whose activities a) are carried on otherwise than for profit, and b) directly or indirectly benefit the whole or any part of Wales (whether or not they also benefit any other area).’ (Welsh Assembly Government’s Voluntary Sector Scheme) In this Compact, the term ‘Voluntary Cultural Sector’ relates to any ‘not for profit’ organisation (as defined above by the Welsh Assembly Government) groups or individuals, delivering or supporting artistic engagement within the communities of Wales.


Porth y Byddar, Clwyd Theatr Cymru and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru (photo: Catherine Ashmore)

Legislation The Government of Wales Act (1998) places a statutory duty on the Welsh Assembly Government to promote the interests of voluntary organisations in the execution of all its functions. The Welsh Assembly Government sets out its principles in its Voluntary Sector Scheme (2000) and published its Strategic Action Plan for the Voluntary Sector Scheme ‘The third dimension’ in 2008. This Compact complies with the requirements of this legislation.


Arts Care Gofal Celf


Shared Values Publicly funded bodies in Wales have a duty to promote equal opportunities. The Arts Council of Wales and the Voluntary Cultural Sector agree that the aim of this Compact is to help create a society where everyone has opportunities to engage with the arts in their local area, at a price they can afford, through the indigenous language of Welsh, English or language of their choice. We acknowledge the following: • The opportunity to engage with the arts is a right, not a privilege. • The arts provide a unique creative experience that help people to feel more confident and healthy. • They develop new skills that people can use in their everyday lives. • Opportunities to engage in the arts through the medium of Welsh and English are essential to build and reinforce Welsh cultural identity. • Opportunities to engage in the arts are essential to promote social inclusion and community development and cohesion. These opportunities are most effective when engagement enables community ownership on an experiential and a strategic long term basis. • The arts, through the Voluntary Cultural Sector, make a major contribution to the Welsh Gross Domestic Product.


Garw Carnival - Blaengarw (photo: K.A. Brocklebank)

In recognition of this, Arts Council of Wales and the Voluntary Cultural Sector have a duty to operate with honesty and integrity and to speak up on behalf of the Arts at Welsh Assembly Government, UK Government, European Government and Local Government levels and advocate to increase and stabilise funding to the whole sector.



Akira Yoshida during International Ceramics Festival at Aberystwyth Arts Centre (photo: Glenn Edwards)

Recognition The Compact recognises: • That a wide range of voluntary activity across the cultural sector contributes to the economic, social, environmental and cultural life of Wales. • The value of developing and sharing new and exciting practices. • That the Voluntary Cultural Sector makes a vital contribution to the arts, working within a framework that is creative, exciting and diverse. • That Voluntary Cultural Sector organisations are experienced in independently managing arts practice and developing their own policies and, as such, can play an important role in formulating and delivering public policy on the arts. • That working within the Voluntary Cultural Sector, whether professionally or voluntarily, means choosing to commit time and energy for the development of high quality artistic practice. • That the Voluntary Cultural Sector provides opportunities for social engagement which benefits communities. • That the relationship between Arts Council of Wales and its clients is a partnership


Representation The Compact is committed to engagement in procedures that ensure consultation on all policy changes and developments that affect the sector, as and when appropriate, including the following: • A twelve-week consultation period, to allow enough time for wider consultation with networks and service providers. • Recognising the role of umbrella organisations and networks in making consultation possible and reaching the largest possible number of people; with timely and well researched information. • Providing feedback to people who have taken part in consultation, as and when appropriate.

Outside of the formal consultation process, it is agreed that the Compact will: • Engage in ongoing discussion, leading to understanding of, and involvement in, policy development, including assessing all major policy changes to see how they will affect the Voluntary Cultural Sector. • Ensure opportunities for the sector to engage in assessing the effectiveness of policies.


Ruthin Craft Centre (photo: Dewi Tannatt-Lloyd)


Resources The Compact recognises that the Arts Council of Wales’ policies for the voluntary organisations must include financial support. These measures will depend on the amount of money available and funding will need to be targeted strategically. The Arts Council of Wales will set and maintain procedures, in line with the Voluntary Sector Scheme’s Code of Practice for Funding the Voluntary Sector document ‘Working in Partnership’, including:

• Campaigning for a funding structure that enables the Arts Council of Wales Revenue Funded Organisations to have effective long term plans (as detailed in the Arts Council of Wales’ ‘Policy for Managing the Arts Council of Wales’ Portfolio of Revenue Funded Organisations’). • Prior discussion and reasonable notice before any policy changes or decisions which would lead to withdrawal or significant reduction in revenue grants. Specifically, ACW will normally give twelve months notice of its intention to withdraw revenue funding. • Ensuring that grant schemes and their eligibility criteria are clear; that application processes are straightforward and that administrative and assessment procedures are open and fair.


• Making advance payment of grant, where a clear financial need is established, consistent with the Arts Council of Wales’ public responsibilities. • A commitment to following good practice guidance issued by the Welsh Assembly Government relating to procurement detailed in ‘Opening Doors: The Charter for SME Friendly Procurement’ and ‘Procurement and the Third Sector: Guidance for the Public Sector in Wales’ The Compact recognises its role in making sure the Voluntary Cultural Sector has fair and reasonable access to public funding from the Government, European programmes and other sources. The Compact will also encourage: • The sharing of resources and information where possible and practical. • Working together to develop and introduce appropriate monitoring and assessment procedures. • Working together to enable the Voluntary Cultural Sector to take a leading role in developing good practice in employment and management policies and procedures, including systems which help Voluntary Cultural Sector organisations to meet their legal responsibilities. The Compact recognises that recipients of public money have a responsibility to publicly acknowledge the support of their funders.


India Dance Wales

For further information please contact: Arts Council of Wales, Bute Place, Cardiff CF10 3NX Telephone: 0845 8734 900 Fax: 029 2044 1400 Email: Website:

Arts Council of Wales is committed to making information available in large print, braille and on audiotape and will endeavor to provide information in languages other than Welsh or English on request.


Working Together A compact between the Arts Council of Wales and the Voluntary Cultural Sector in Wa  

Working Together A compact between the Arts Council of Wales and the Voluntary Cultural Sector in Wales