A PROTEST has taken place outside the Senedd over fears that cuts of millions of pounds in funding to museums and the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth will damage culture in Wales.

In the Welsh Government’s draft budget, the National Library of Wales is facing a funding cut of more than £1.4m from what it was initially promised in initial budgets in February.

Funding for 2024 will be £11,093,000, a fall of almost £800,000 from 2023.

National Museum Wales, which looks after sites including the National Wool Museum in Drefach Felindre, faces a cut of almost £3m.

The final budget, announced on the same day as the protest, made no changes to the planned 10.5 per cent cuts to Amgueddfa Cymru, the Arts Council of Wales and the National Library, but heritage body Cadw and the Royal Commission will receive an additional £1.4m.

Staff from National Museum Wales; the National Library of Wales; and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales were among those demonstrating against cuts that they warned will have a “catastrophic” impact on the Welsh culture and heritage sector.

Unions led the protest at the Senedd on Tuesday morning, 27 February against the cuts that the Prospect union says “threaten the bodies that protect Wales’ heritage.”

Plaid Cymru spokesperson for Culture, Heledd Fychan MS said that “our national collections are at risk.”

“This will only worsen if the proposed cuts are implemented by the Labour Welsh Government, and will put jobs under threat,” she said.

“Given that the national collections belong to everyone in Wales, we should all be concerned.

“Arts and culture are not just nice to have when times are good – they are integral to our identity as well as our economy.

The protest came as a petition calling for the cuts to be reversed reaches more than 4,000 signatures.

The petition to the Senedd says it “calls upon the Welsh Government to increase spending on institutions that safeguard the heritage and history of Wales – the National Library of Wales, Amgueddfa Cymru and the Royal Commission – instead of cutting funding by between 10.5 per cent and 22.3 per cent.”

“These institutions protect the historical and cultural legacy of our nation, by collecting and preserving it, and then showcasing it to everyone who lives in Wales,” the petition said.

The petition can be found at petitions.senedd.wales/petitions/246088.