Whether a former miners’ institute, an Edwardian theatre or modern iconic buildings such as the Wales Millennium Centre or Galeri Caernarfon, arts venues occupy an important place in the communities of Wales. Today sees the start of a major, ground-breaking initiative to support forty two arts venues in Wales to become greener and leaner.
The venues are all members of Creu Cymru – the development agency for theatres and arts venues in Wales. They will be asked about the way they manage their use of energy and water, their waste disposal and other environmental issues. Those who choose to will take part in a more detailed investigation with on-going support.
Based on the results of the investigation venues will be given the tools and advice needed to strengthen their environmental, social and economic sustainability. By becoming more energy and resource efficient, managers of the venues will be able to save money. They will be helped to develop new strategies and communicate these to staff, contractors, suppliers and audiences. Overall, this initiative will make them fit for the future and better able to respond to the challenges of a changing world.
The initiative will address three areas;
- energy and waste (consumption and treatment)
- the supply chain (theatre production and touring)
- communicating to audiences the issues and potential solutions (imagining the future)
The initiative is part of Emergence – an on-going programme of work led by Cynnal Cymru-Sustain Wales and Volcano Theatre Company that aims to make sustainable development a core organising principle of the arts in Wales. This Creu Cymru Emergence initiative has been made possible by the Welsh Government’s Support For Sustainable Living grant scheme through a partnership comprising Creu Cymru, Cynnal Cymru-Sustain Wales, the ESRC BRASS Research Centre (Cardiff University) and London-based arts and environmental sustainability experts Julie’s Bicycle.
BRASS and Julie’s Bicycle will provide the technical expertise. Both organisations have a track record of success in investigating and offering solutions for the environmental and social sustainability of the arts. Cynnal Cymru-Sustain Wales will use the information and learning that comes from the work to inform consultation on the development of the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Development Bill.
The Creu Cymru membership consists of Wales’ most cherished theatres and arts venues that have for generations acted as hubs of social and cultural activity. With this initiative, they will be able to continue to do this in the context of a changing world and make an important contribution to the development of a sustainable Wales.