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Introduction

Our local museums, archives and libraries provide crucial services and support for communities across Wales. In addition, they are available as sources of knowledge, education and enjoyment for those who visit.

Modernisation of facilities to upgrade access, enable joint service working and renew the offer to users is vital for maintaining and improving the services provided. The Welsh Government acknowledges this and is supporting development through its capital funding programme.

The Welsh Government’s Culture and Sport Division will manage this Transformation Capital Grant Programme, which will enable the successful organisations to transform services to:

  • develop a more sustainable model of service delivery
  • enhance services to people and their communities
  • improve collections development, care or access
  • deliver against both Welsh Government’s Programme for Government (2021 to 2026) and the organisation’s own strategic priorities
  • maintain and develop the quality of services

1. Application process

The grant scheme will operate as a two-stage process:

Stage 1: An open call to the sector to provide an Expression of Interest (EOI)

Stage 2: Successful applicants will be asked to develop and submit a full application.  Second stage applications must be consistent with the proposal outlined in the approved EOI.

Both stages will be competitive, and a successful EOI does not guarantee funding at stage 2.

The timetable for the 2022/23 grant scheme is:

Expressions of Interest (EOI) submission: by midday 13 September 2021
Stage 1 Decisions issued: week beginning 18 October 2021
Stage 2 Applications submission: by midday 17 January 2022
Stage 2 Decisions issued: week beginning 21 March 2022

2. Who can apply

Libraries

Local authority public library services or trusts / not for profit companies delivering an authority-wide library service on behalf of the local authority, and community run libraries which are constituted under a regulatory framework (e.g. registered charity or community interest company.) Community run libraries include:

  • community managed: these are community-led and largely community delivered, rarely with paid staff, but often with some form of ongoing council support and often still part of the public library network.
  • community supported: these are council-led and funded, usually with paid professional staff, but given significant support by volunteers.

Museums

Local authority or independently run museums which are fully or provisionally accredited as part of the UK wide Museum Accreditation scheme.

Archives

Local authority archive services or trusts / not for profit companies delivering archive services on behalf of the local authority. Archive services must be fully or provisionally accredited as part of the UK wide Archive Service Accreditation scheme, or committed to achieving accreditation within an agreed timeframe. 

Applications from partnerships delivering regional or all-Wales services are also eligible.

3. What we will fund

The funding for this programme is for capital costs only. Eligible expenditure includes building and engineering work, professional fees, and fittings / additional equipment, which are integral to the wider development. If you have any queries regarding the eligibility of elements of your project please contact Culture and Sport Division (see section 7 for contact details).

Applicants may ask for up to 10% of the grant award to support project management staff costs.

In addition, services may also apply for funding for IT & digital infrastructure, designed to enable services to address the increased need for access to digital collections and services. Funding for such infrastructure will only be supported where there is a plan in place to sustain systems in the longer-term (including written support from relevant IT services). Priority will also be given to collaborative bids where the proposed system will meet needs across a number of services.

Organisations that are considering applying for funding towards a new building development are requested to contact Culture and Sport Division early in the process. To address the climate and nature emergency and support the net zero approach central  to our new Programme for Government, we need to assess the link between our proposed infrastructure investments and their associated carbon impacts. The First Minister has been clear about the need to factor environmental considerations into every decision we take and to consider value for money alongside wider benefits. For this programme, a core condition of any new building funded by the Welsh Government is that it must achieve these two construction standards:

  • an overall ‘Excellent’ rating under the BREEAM assessment framework, or a similar rating under an equivalent assessment framework;
  • a minimum standard for recycled content. At least 10% of the total value of the materials used should derive from recycled and reused content in the products and materials selected.

Please note that Welsh Government funds cannot be used towards the purchase of land or buildings.

4. Levels of funding available

Two bands of capital grants are available:

  • Band A: grants of up to £150,000
  • Band B: grants of up to £300,000

Band A grants are to encourage organisations to improve the internal and external appearance and environment, quality of collections care, visitor experience and improve long term sustainability. We will not normally support projects where the total project cost is below £50,000.

Band B grants are for larger, strategic projects such as the realignment of service provision (e.g. a major building refurbishment, developing partnerships and shared facilities) or the development of inter-authority or ‘regional’ services.

Organisations may submit up to two applications, which can be in the same band or in both bands. If an organisation submits two applications, they should note the preferred priority, and provide evidence of ability to manage two capital projects simultaneously.  

Applicants must provide at least 10% of total project costs as additional match-funding towards the project. A higher percentage of match-funding from the applicant will be taken into consideration as part of the assessment process.

5. Eligibility

To be considered eligible all applications should meet the following criteria:

  • the application must be from a local authority/not for profit trust/company/independently run museum, archive or library, as identified in section 2;
  • applications from not for profit trusts/companies must include a letter of support from the relevant local authority/ies;
  • all relevant Planning Permissions / Listed Building Consents must be in place before the stage 2 application is submitted;
  • project costs must include a minimum of 10% match-funding from the parent organisation;
  • the majority of match-funding should normally be confirmed before submission of the stage two application (priority will be given to projects with confirmed funding);
  • the project location should be open for a minimum of 15 hours a week for Band  A projects (with allowances for seasonally run museums), and 30 hours for Band B projects following the completion of the project;
  • show clear evidence of need, including how the project meets the requirements of local and national business plans and policies;
  • the grant funded work must be completed and claimed by 1 February 2023.

6. Priority criteria

Expressions of Interest project proposals will be scored using the following scoring scales multiplied by the associated weighting factor to give a total score.

Priority

Priority criteria

Score

Weighting: band  A

Weighting: band  B

1

Sustainable development

0 to 4

x4

x5

2

People

0 to 4

x5

x4

3

Collections

0 to 4

x4

x4

4

Strategic fit

0 to 3

x2

x2

5

Standards

0 to 3

x2

x2

Sustainable development

Projects that can demonstrate how the proposals will develop a more sustainable model of service delivery, in line with the Welsh Government: Programme for Government (2021 to 2026) well-being objectives for example:

Build an economy based on the principles of fair work, sustainability and the industries and services of the future

Examples could include:

  • utilising digital and mobile technologies to deliver services;
  • regional or other partnership approaches;
  • co-location of services.

Embed our response to the climate and nature emergency in everything we do

Examples could include:

  • new models of service delivery
  • other developments to better sustain / deliver services
  • improving resource efficiency
  • reducing energy and water usage
  • use of renewable energy sources

Build a stronger, greener economy as we make maximum progress towards decarbonisation

Examples could include:

  • measures to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, including changes to environmental control systems,
  • lighting and heating systems.

Score

Rationale

4

A clear explanation is given of how the project will address sustainable development across more than one area, with evidence of engagement with relevant partners and specialisms.

3

A clear explanation is given of how the project will address one priority sustainable development outcome, with evidence of engagement with relevant partners and / or specialisms.

2

A clear explanation is given of how the project will address sustainable development outcome(s), but plans could be more strongly developed.

1

Links to potential sustainable development outcomes are apparent, but not fully explored.

0

No information has been provided as to how sustainable development issues are to be addressed.

People

Projects that can demonstrate how the proposals will enhance services to people and communities, in line with the Welsh Government: Programme for Government (2021 to 2026) well-being objectives for example:

Continue our long-term programme of education reform, and ensure educational inequalities narrow and standards rise

Examples could include:

  • new educational/community facilities
  • improved ICT provision, including Wi-Fi availability

Protect, re-build and develop our services for vulnerable people

Examples could include:

  • developments that improve accessibility and services for disabled people

Make our cities, towns and villages even better places in which to live and work

Examples could include:

  • building improvements to provide a more modern and attractive service environment
  • new community facilities
  • contribution to wider community regeneration initiatives

Celebrate diversity and move to eliminate inequality in all of its forms

Examples could include:

  • the development of facilities to deliver services and to engage with and celebrate the contribution of under-represented communities to the culture and heritage of Wales. 

Score

Rationale

4

A clear explanation is given of how the project will enhance services to people and communities across more than one area, with evidence of consultation with users and non-users of all ages.

3

A clear explanation is given of how the project will enhance services in one priority area, with evidence of consultation with users and non-users of all ages.

2

A clear explanation is given of how the project will deliver service improvement outcome(s), but where user consultation could be more strongly developed.

1

Potential service improvement outcomes are apparent, but not fully explored.

0

No information has been provided as to how the project will enhance services to people and communities.

Collections

Projects that can demonstrate how the proposals will improve collections development, care or access, in line with the Welsh Government: Programme for Government (2021 to 2026) well-being objectives for example:

  • Push towards a million Welsh speakers, and enable our tourism, sports and arts industries to thrive
  • Lead Wales in a national civic conversation about our constitutional future, and give our country the strongest possible presence on the world stage

Examples could include new facilities and equipment for collections access, storage and display, including measures to improve environmental stability.

Score

Rationale

4

A clear explanation is given of how the project will improve collections development, care or access in more than one area, demonstrating an evidence-based approach to determining needs and solutions to these.

3

A clear explanation is given of how the project will deliver improvements in one priority area, demonstrating an evidence-based approach to determining needs and solutions.

2

A clear explanation is given of how the project will deliver service improvements, but where the rationale for this work could be more strongly developed.

1

Potential service improvements are apparent, but not fully explored.

0

No information has been provided as to how the project will improve collections development, care or access.

Strategic fit

Projects that can demonstrate how the proposals will deliver against strategic priorities and outcomes, in line with local and national policies, strategies and legislation, including but not limited to:

  • Programme for Government (2021 to 2026)
  • Well-being of Future Generations Act

Score

Rationale

3

A clear explanation is given of how the project will deliver against / align with relevant strategic priorities and outcomes at local and national level.

2

A clear explanation is given of how the project aligns with relevant strategic priorities and outcomes, but where the potential for delivery against these could be more strongly developed.

1

Potential strategic alignments are apparent, but there is insufficient information to demonstrate that the strategic fit of the project has been appropriately considered.

0

No information has been provided as to how the project relates to strategic priorities and outcomes, either locally or nationally.

Standards

Projects that can demonstrate how the proposals will help maintain and develop the quality of services, in line with relevant standards, schemes and legislation, including but not limited to:

  • Archive Service Accreditation Scheme
  • Museum Accreditation Scheme
  • Welsh Public Library Standards
  • Welsh Language Act 1993
  • Equality Act 2010
  • Government Indemnity Scheme
  • Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme
  • BS 4971:2017 Conservation and care of archive and library collections
  • BS EN 16893:2018 Conservation of Cultural Heritage. Specification for location, construction and modification of buildings or rooms intended for the storage or use of heritage collections
  • BREEAM assessment framework

Score

Rationale

3

A clear explanation is given of how the project will help maintain and develop the quality of services, demonstrating how the requirements of relevant standards, schemes and legislation will be addressed.

2

A clear explanation is given of how the project will help maintain and develop the quality of services, but where stronger evidence could be provided of how the requirements in relevant areas would be addressed.

1

Evident awareness of relevant standards, schemes and legislation, but insufficient information to demonstrate that their requirements have been adequately considered in developing the project.

0

No information has been provided as to how the project will help maintain and develop the quality of services, in line with relevant standards, schemes and legislation.

Finance

An additional consideration will be the percentage of match-funding that the project will lever.

We may consider funding projects over two financial years. Please let us know if you would like us to consider this for your project and outline the reasons for your request. We would normally expect the majority of funding awarded to be used in year one.

7. Where can I get help?

All applicants are advised to contact the relevant sector adviser in Culture and Sport Division for advice on their potential project before submitting an Expression of Interest.

Archive projects       

Sarah Horton, Archives Development Adviser: sarah.horton@gov.wales

Library projects

Amanda Bennett, Senior Libraries Adviser: amanda.bennett@gov.wales

Museum projects      

Carol Whittaker, Senior Museums Development Adviser: carol.whittaker@gov.wales

Ann Mansell, Senior Museums Development Adviser: ann.mansell@gov.wales

Alternatively, contact Culture and Sport Division on 0300 062 2112 or cultureandsport@gov.wales

8. Other sources of advice

The Designing Libraries website is a useful source of information for prospective library service applicants. It provides examples of refurbishment and new library projects across the UK.

The Association of Independent Museums has published Success Guide: Successfully Managing Capital Projects

The National Archives provides links to a range of useful information resources on Capital developments.

Listed buildings and scheduled ancient monuments

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