THE ARTS Council of Wales has proposed to treble funding for organisations in Newport - something which comes with a reduced offer for the Riverfront theatre.

Some 81 organisations have been offered multi-year funding after a "highly competitive" process involving a record number of applicants, the Arts Council said.

Ballet Cymru, based in Rogerstone, is set to become one of only two organisations in Wales to employ a full-time company of dancers following an increased offer from the Council of £750,000.

In total, Newport arts groups will receive almost £1.2 million, subject to appeals and funding confirmation.

Newport's Urban Circle, which has been recognised as “leading the way” in platforming young people’s voices, has been offered £275,000.

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The Arts Council considered the record number of applications according to their six principles of creativity, widening engagement, Welsh language, climate justice, nurturing talent and transformation.

Newport Live chief executive Steve Ward said they were “disappointed” with the reduced offer of £75,000 for the Riverfront in central Newport.

“Our work at The Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre provides a huge range of opportunities for people to engage in the arts and has a large impact on the wellbeing of communities across Newport, and as such we are reviewing the feedback we have received and are considering how we proceed."

'Very positive shift'

Arts Council of Wales chief executive Dafydd Rhys said: “This Investment Review represents a very positive shift for the arts in Wales, one which will lead to new opportunities for people of all backgrounds to engage with, and enjoy the arts.

“We had a record number of applications this year for our funding, with 139 eligible organisations, and we were very pleased to be able to fund 81 organisations across Wales.

“The high quality of applications that we received from a number of Newport organisations meant that we were able to make new funding offers to Urban Circle and Operasonic, as well as increasing funding for Ballet Cymru, and we look forward to seeing the work that they do in coming years.”