Welsh Music Foundation to suspend operations today

The Welsh Music Foundation (WMF), one of the organisations responsible for offering support to the music industry in Wales, will cease to operate today following a Welsh Government decision to end its financial support.

Until yesterday, the WMF was funded in a three year core funding agreement with the Welsh Government which saw them offer advice and financial help to record labels, publishers, studios, promoters and musicians as well as many more.

However, when that offer came to an end yesterday, a similar agreement was not offered to the WMF despite the board’s efforts to prove the worth of the organisation such as forming part of the group who delivered WOMEX – an event which had an economic impact of over £3M in Cardiff in 2013.

Welsh Government had offered a six month extension of the organisation’s funding to enable them to “secure an alternative income stream” but this option was deemed unviable by the board.

In a statement released this morning, the board of the Welsh Music Foundation said: “We are extremely proud of the value and leadership we have shown within the industry and how, on an extremely modest revenue grant of £160,000 a year, we have leveraged much more money in project value, served many Welsh music businesses and developed the music economy of Wales.”

The statement in full:

A Press Statement from the Welsh Music Foundation Board

It is with great sadness that as of today, Tuesday 1st July 2014, Welsh Music Foundation (WMF) is suspending the company’s operations.

WMF’s existing three-year core-funding agreement with Welsh Government expired yesterday, 30th June 2014. Despite our efforts over the past nine months to negotiate continued core-funding, the Welsh Government’s offer of a six month extension to enable the company to secure an alternative income stream whilst continuing to provide the core service was deemed by the Board an unviable proposal.

The Board therefore decided not to accept the offer of funding and to proceed to suspend the company’s operations and as a consequence all 3 members of staff will be made redundant.

As an executive and board, we are extremely proud of the value and leadership we have shown within the industry and how, on an extremely modest revenue grant of £160,000 a year, we have leveraged much more money in project value, served many Welsh music businesses and developed the music economy of Wales.

Over the past year we have:

  • Delivered the World Music Expo WOMEX to Wales, with through our partnership with Arts Council Wales / Wales Arts International (Cerdd Cymru : Music Wales) with an economic impact of £3,177,000 for Cardiff
  • Produced 36 bespoke training events across Wales in areas such as music copyright, royalties, radio play, live music promotion and festival organization.
  • Answered 1708 enquiries from the music industry in Wales
  • Launched a Wales music directory with serves 1705 music companies in Wales.
  • Delivered an international music presence for Welsh music companies in Womex and SXSW and explored new markets in Porto Musicale (Recife, Brazil) and PrimaveraPro (Barcelona, Spain)

WMF’s annual report, published for our AGM last week, and available to read below, outlines WMF’s benefit to and activities to develop Wales’ music industry over this past year.

It is highly regrettable to be closing our office and operations and we are extremely concerned for the hiatus in service to the music industry of Wales that this causes. However having carefully considered a number of options, and in the knowledge that there is no further commitment from Welsh Government to fund our service to the industry, it is the only responsible option currently available to us.

The Board of WMF remain committed and will seek new investment and partnerships to support the development of the music industry in Wales.
If you are working in the music sector in Wales and require support, or if you are looking to work with the music sector in Wales, then please contact Business Wales 03000 6 03000 or http://business.wales.gov.uk/contact-us

The Annual report can be downloaded here.