THE news that thousands of pounds has been pledged to support the Welsh arts sector make it to the other side of coronavirus has been welcome by industry leaders.

The UK Government has announced a £1.57 billion support package to "protect" the future of Britain's museums, galleries and theatres.

The support pot includes £59 million dedicated to the devolved administration of Wales, the UK Government confirmed.

The package comes after some theatres - which are not yet able to stage live performances - closed down, making staff redundant, amid the pandemic.

Decisions on awards will be made working alongside expert independent figures from the sector.

A UK Government spokesman said the money represents “the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture" whilst the UK’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee chairman Julian Knight said that the support package will take some cultural institutions out of the "danger zone" in terms of potential closures.

The announcement has been welcomed by various industry leaders, including Theatr Clwyd’s Tamara Harvey.

The Leader previously reported that the theatre’s artistic director had concerns for the wider industry’s future in a post-pandemic world if the Government’s did not step in and act to protect the trade.

Responding to what this news means for the arts industry, she said: “This is an essential and welcome commitment to our world-leading cultural landscape, and hugely important that it’s been extended to Wales.

“During the pandemic, we’ve held online workshops in dance, music and theatre with more than 1,000 people in our community, been a centre for blood donations, worked with social services to distribute food, creative packages and rainbow boxes of toys to vulnerable children and helped a local boy continue his ballet training, so he can take up his place at the Royal Ballet in September.”

Ms Harvey says that, whilst this is a highly positive announcement, without any detail surrounding the headline figure it is difficult to know the exact impact it will have on the Flintshire-based Theatr Clwyd.

She continued: “We’ve been closed since mid-March and while we hope we might be able to bring people back up the hill for events later in 2020, it seems likely that this will involve reduced capacities and social distancing, therefore massively reducing our ability to operate commercially.

“Any investment to help maintain the world-class theatre-making facilities and continue our vital work in the community with both young people and in Arts and Health while no tickets are being sold is very welcome.

It was previously reported by the Leader that proposals to transform Theatr Clwyd in Mold were put forward at the tail end of 2019 due to the deteriorating condition of the 1970s building and have been given the go ahead.

Ms Harvey said: “At the moment we don’t know what impact this additional funding might have on the theatre’s future redevelopment.

“While built to cutting edge standards in 1976, the last 40 years have taken their toll on our building – our roof leaks, our mechanics & electrics are at the end of life, our audience areas can no longer match the experience of our excellent work on stage, we’ve terrible disabled access, our theatre-making teams work in old & unsuitable facilities and the building doesn’t meet modern health and safety standards.

“We’re continuing to work closely with Flintshire County Council, Arts Council Wales and Welsh Government on delivering a green, financially sustainable and inspirational home for our community for the next 40 years and beyond.”