FREELANCERS working in the cultural and creative sectors in Wales are now able to apply for their share of a £7m fund – which is targeted specifically at those in the freelance sector hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The fund opens today at 10:00 [Monday 5th October] and will run over two phases. Individuals can apply for a £2,500 grant, for further details visit https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice/

The fund will be open to freelancers in the sub sectors of arts, creative industries, arts and heritage events, culture and heritage, whose work has direct creative/cultural outcomes.

Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, said: “The freelance sector is such an important part of the Welsh economy – with a significant number of freelancers working in the cultural and creative sectors.  I’m delighted that we’re able to provide support – to sustain our freelancers during this difficult period and acknowledge the contribution made by these individuals to the economy, our communities and the cultural and creative sectors in Wales.”

In further support of the freelance sector, the Welsh Government is working on a Freelancer’ Pledge, which is a first for the UK. In developing recovery plans and aspirations, the Freelancer Pledge reaffirms Wales’ commitment to involving the creative sector in building back better.

The Well-being of Future Generations Act requires public bodies in Wales to contribute towards a vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language as well as think about the long-term impact of their decisions, to work better with people, communities and each other.   The Freelancer Pledge presents an opportunity for creative freelancers and public services to forge a partnership to achieve this and for freelancers to use their skills to bring creativity and imagination to all areas of public life.

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Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, Sophie Howe, called for support for creative freelancers in the summer. She said the fund could form the basis of future schemes where the government provides a safety net on incomes with an option for individuals to participate in work within the community. She said: “This is a big opportunity for culture to play a large role in Wales’ Covid recovery. The optional pledge to work with public services will allow creatives to help build art and culture into everything from hospitals to town centres, improving the way we all live. This is hopefully the start of us moving towards a system where much more value is placed on culture and creativity – better supporting those who do that vital work.”

The partnership work could include co-creating solutions with the community, contributing to local development plans, re-designing town and city centres or bringing new approaches to capital projects. This could be in all areas such as culture through to health or sustainable development and the built environment etc.

The detail of the Freelancer Pledge will be designed over coming months in partnership with the freelancer community and unions.  The Pledge will be a voluntary element of the support, and will not be a condition of grant. Support and training will be available to freelancers who wish to participate.  Any work conducted as part of the Pledge will be remunerated.

 

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