Role of the Arts Council of Wales

The Role of the Arts Council of Wales: Promoting culture and compliance

The Arts Council of Wales (ACW) is a pivotal institution dedicated to promoting and supporting the arts in Wales. Established by Royal Charter in 1946, the ACW plays a critical role in nurturing creativity, enriching communities, and boosting Wales's cultural and economic landscape. In this blog, Dr Richard Dune explores the essential functions of the Arts Council of Wales, highlights key statistics and facts, and provides recommendations for best practices in compliance with relevant legislation and regulations.

Key facts and statistics

Understanding the scope and impact of the Arts Council of Wales requires a look at some key figures and facts:

  • The ACW distributes over £30 million annually in grants and funding to arts organisations, projects, and individual artists.
  • Wales's arts and culture sector contributes approximately £1.7 billion to the Welsh economy each year.
  • Over 70% of adults in Wales participate in or attend arts events, demonstrating the significant public engagement driven by the ACW.
  • The ACW supports numerous educational programmes that reach tens of thousands of children and young people annually, fostering the next generation of Welsh artists and creatives.

Key definitions

To fully appreciate the work of the Arts Council of Wales, it is essential to understand some core terms:

  • Grants - Financial awards given to individuals or organisations to support specific projects or operational costs.
  • Arts organisations - Institutions or groups dedicated to creating, producing, or promoting art in various forms, including visual arts, music, theatre, and literature.
  • Compliance - Adherence to laws, regulations, and guidelines that govern the operations of arts organisations and the use of public funds.
  • Legislation - Laws enacted by a legislative body that impact the operations and governance of arts institutions.

The role of the Arts Council of Wales

Funding and support

The ACW’s primary role is to allocate funding to various arts initiatives. This includes support for individual artists, community projects, and major cultural institutions. By providing financial resources, the ACW ensures the sustainability and growth of the arts sector in Wales.

Advocacy and policy development

The Arts Council of Wales also plays a critical role in advocating for the arts at local, national, and international levels. This includes influencing policy development to create a favourable environment for the arts to flourish. The ACW works closely with the Welsh Government and other stakeholders to shape policies that support artistic endeavours and cultural preservation.

Education and community engagement

A significant aspect of the ACW's mission is to promote education and community engagement through the arts. By supporting educational programmes and initiatives, the ACW helps integrate the arts into the broader educational curriculum, enriching the learning experience and fostering creativity among young people.

Compliance and governance

Ensuring compliance with legislation and regulations is a crucial responsibility of the ACW. This involves setting standards for the ethical and effective use of public funds, promoting best governance practices, and ensuring that funded organisations adhere to relevant laws and regulations.

Best practices for compliance

Understanding relevant legislation

Arts organisations must be familiar with key legislation that impact their operations. This includes the Charities Act 2011, which governs the activities of charitable organisations, and the Data Protection Act 2018, which ensures the privacy and security of personal data.

Implementing robust governance structures

Effective governance is essential for compliance. Arts organisations should establish clear governance structures, including a board of trustees, to oversee operations and ensure accountability. Regular training on governance and compliance issues is also recommended.

Financial management and transparency

Proper financial management practices are critical for compliance. These include maintaining accurate financial records, conducting regular audits, and ensuring transparency in fund use. Organisations should also have clear policies for managing conflicts of interest and safeguarding against fraud.

Regular training and updates

Ongoing training and updates on legislative changes are vital for maintaining compliance. Utilising platforms like ComplyPlus™ for training and compliance management can help organisations stay informed and up-to-date with the latest requirements.


To ensure the continued success and compliance of arts organisations, it is recommended that they:

  • Stay informed - Review updates from the Arts Council of Wales and other regulatory bodies regularly.
  • Invest in training - Use comprehensive compliance management software like ComplyPlus™ to facilitate training and ensure adherence to regulations.
  • Engage with the community - Foster strong community ties through engagement programmes and educational initiatives.
  • Adopt best practices - Implement best practices in governance, financial management, and operational transparency.


The Arts Council of Wales is indispensable in supporting and promoting the arts in Wales. Through funding, advocacy, education, and compliance, the ACW ensures that the arts continue to thrive and enrich Welsh society. By adopting best practices and leveraging tools like ComplyPlus™, arts organisations can achieve compliance and sustain their valuable contributions to culture and community.

Click here for more information on how ComplyPlus™ can support your organisation's compliance needs.

About the author

Dr Richard Dune

With over 20 years of experience, Richard blends a rich background in NHS, the private sector, academia, and research settings. His forte lies in clinical R&D, advancing healthcare tech, workforce development and governance. His leadership ensures regulatory compliance and innovation align seamlessly.

Promoting culture and compliance - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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