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Ministers accept recommendations to secure Wales’ National Youth Arts Ensembles

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

An independent report looking at solutions to safeguard the long-term future of Wales’ national youth arts ensembles has been published today.
Wednesday 27 January 2016

The national youth arts ensembles of Wales include the National Youth Orchestra, National Youth Theatre and National Youth Dance, which are administered by the WJEC, as well as  4 additional ensembles managed by Tŷ Cerdd, the National Youth Brass Band, National Youth Choirs, National Youth Jazz, and National Youth Wind Orchestra of Wales. There is also a National Youth Training Choir which prepares younger choristers for membership of the National Youth Choir.

In March the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates and the Education Minister, Huw Lewis, agreed to establish a task and finish group to look at long-term funding and administrative solutions for all of the national youth ensembles, in response to concerns of possible cuts in funding.

The group has made progress in finding solutions for the main commitments it set out to achieve, including securing an agreement from all 22 local authorities to extend funding to 2016/17 to support the ensembles as they move to find a more sustainable funding model.

The group has now completed its report which includes recommendations for the Welsh Government, Arts Council of Wales, local authorities, as well as National Youth Arts Wales (the umbrella body for the ensembles).

Amongst these is the recommendation that the National Youth Arts Wales is remodelled into a single legal identity, to provide a clear purpose, direction and vision for all the ensembles, including developing new ways of attracting alternative sources of funding.

The Welsh Government has agreed to the establishment of an Independent Interim Board to oversee the changes and determine a viable model for the future ensembles, including an Implementation Manager to co-ordinate the transition to the new structure.

The Deputy Minister said:

“We recognise the invaluable contribution of the ensembles in the identification and development of budding talent in the arts and creative industries. We want to ensure that talented young musicians, artists and dancers from all backgrounds continue to have the opportunity to train and perform at the highest level, with the best talents in their field.

“We therefore welcome the recommendations of the task and finish group, which if fully implemented will enable NYAW to move in to a new and exciting phase of development and go a long way to ensure the future of the ensembles. We encourage all key stakeholders to work together to make the changes needed to support the future of these iconic institutions.”

The Chair of the task and finish group, Diane Hebb, said:

“The National Youth Arts Ensembles are one of Wales’ great success stories and we recognise the value and importance of the ensembles, which for decades have provided exceptional opportunities for some of our most talented young people to work with leading composers, conductors, choreographers and directors.  

“The task and finish group was set up at a difficult time, with the immediate future of some of the ensembles looking very uncertain. The publication of this report marks the first step on the journey towards securing the future of the ensembles so that thousands more of our most talented young people can benefit from their services.”

The report has also been welcomed by the Arts Council of Wales, which has agreed to jointly support the appointment of an Interim Implementation Manager with the Welsh Government.  It will also work closely with National Youth Arts Wales and the other key stakeholders to ensure the necessary changes are made to safeguard the ensembles.

The full report is available at



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Task and finish group on National Youth Arts Ensembles of Wales


Culture, tourism and sport 27 January 2016 Economy Programme for Government - Culture and Heritage Mid Wales North Wales South East Wales South West Wales

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