The funding, which will be delivered as part of the Transformation Capital Grant Scheme, will support Wales’ local libraries, museums, to develop and revitalise their facilities, with a particular focus on widening access, partnership working, decarbonisation, and developing sustainable services.
The fund will be used to refurbish and modernise six libraries, including the development of a VR Hub at Penygroes Library and a well-being garden at Dyffryn Ogwen Library, Gwynedd. It will help Rhymney Library in Caerphilly develop an educational reading and support hub for local residents, and allow Pencoed Library in Bridgend to build an energy efficient, flexible space that meets the needs of the community.
Port Talbot Library and Barry Library will benefit from the creation of ‘Makerspace’ areas, dedicated spaces where people can gather to co-create, work on projects, and share resources and knowledge. They will help users to develop their skills and creativity and inspire younger generations to engage with Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and the Arts (STEAM).
Funding will be provided to enable Monmouthshire County Council to ensure the preservation of, and future access to, their collections through work at the Shire Hall. Funding will also support Newport Museum and Art Gallery’s decarbonisation project, which will enable the museum to install a solar PV system and upgrade its existing halogen lighting to UV. This will reduce the museum’s carbon footprint and its overall energy use and expenditure.
Speaking on International Museum Day, Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden said:
“I’m delighted to announce £750,000 of funding for these projects. This visit today to the Museum of Cardiff, which has benefitted previously from the fund has been fascinating. It is interesting to see first-hand how the museum has used this support to make improvements – to create a more engaging space for exhibitions and local events and enabling the museum to work with communities and reflect the city’s diverse history and culture.
“The Welsh Government remains committed to supporting these important services that fulfil a valuable role at the heart of community life. This fund will widen access for our communities, promote cultural engagement, provide learning opportunities and support community cohesion, sustainability and prosperity.
“I encourage everyone to see what their local museum, archive or library has to offer.”
Alison Tallontire, Acting Museum Manager at Museum of Cardiff, said:
“The project has repurposed part of the Museum’s City Lab gallery to create a more responsive and flexible space. Elements of the Museum’s displays that were fixed and inflexible have been removed or repurposed to create a multi-purpose space that can be programmed with temporary exhibitions and events in co-production with Cardiff’s communities.
“The completed work is enabling us to develop partnerships and support projects and offer space for exhibitions and associated events to an extent that wasn’t previously possible. As we begin to re-open the museum, we are connecting with community partners and engaging in conversations about opportunities for co-production. As such we are already committed to supporting many projects and look forward to supporting many more in the future.”