Literature Wales to have funding cut after damning report
An organisation that promotes and develops reading and writing is to have its funding and responsibilities cut following a critical report.
The board of Literature Wales has been described as "lacking the skills and experience" to spend public money.
The Welsh Government-commissioned report was written by Professor Medwin Hughes.
Literature Wales said it would give the report "careful and thorough consideration."
The findings include:
- There was no evidence of strong governance at Literature Wales
- A feeling among respondents that there was a culture of "entitlement"
- Literature Wales did not contain the right composition of skills and experience to run a body spending public money
- Its mission and goals were "unrealistic and vague"
Literature Wales was created in 2011 following a merger of various organisations and had an income of around £1.2m last year, including £717,000 from the Welsh Government via the Arts Council of Wales.
Following the publication of the report on Tuesday, the economy minister Ken Skates announced that several responsibilities will now transfer from Literature Wales to the Welsh Books Council.
They include the Wales Book of the Year award, bursaries for writers and literary events.
Literature Wales will retain control of the Ty Newydd writing centre in Llanystumdwy, Gwynedd and some events and festivals.
Mr Skates said the changes were in "response to specific needs in a specific area of activity".
"They are not a reflection on the wider work of the arts council and my appreciation of the good work that Literature Wales has delivered in some areas," he added.
"However, I am persuaded that these steps are needed to create a support structure for publishing and literature that is more effective and fit for purpose."
'Challenging and far-reaching'
A spokeswoman for Literature Wales said: "The Welsh Government's Independent Review of Support for Publishing and Literature in Wales presents a number of recommendations which will require careful and thorough consideration.
"We look forward to reading the report in full and working with colleagues in Welsh Government, Arts Council of Wales and the Welsh Books Council to ensure that literature in all its forms continues to be accessible to a wide range of communities and individuals throughout Wales."
A spokesman for the Arts Council of Wales, which provides most of Literature Wales's funding, said: "This is a very substantial report that has drawn on the views of a large number of individuals and organisations.
"With some 60 recommendations, the report deserves detailed and careful consideration.
"Some of the headline recommendations are challenging and far-reaching.
"The report proposes a change of approach and we must consider whether an alternative strategy is likely to deliver better results. We expect to reach our initial conclusions when the council meets in early July."
Since it was established in 2011, Literature Wales has awarded nearly half a million pounds in bursaries to writers and helped organise big events like the recent Dylan Thomas and Roald Dahl celebrations.