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Written - Wales Millennium Centre

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Rhodri Glyn Thomas, Minister for Heritage

On 7 November I announced in plenary that the Assembly Government had decided that additional funding would be provided to the Wales Millennium Centre (WMC) to secure its financial stability. The purpose of this statement is to update Members on progress achieved since that date.

The Welsh Assembly Government made two payments to the WMC at the end of November. On Wednesday 21 November a payment of £1m was made to WMC. This was the first tranche of the £3.7m which the Welsh Assembly Government agreed to provide the Centre in the period up to 1 April 2009. The payment was intended to minimise the Centre’s   borrowing requirements.

The payment of this money was subject to a number of conditions including the development of a new funding agreement, which will include new key performance indicators and commercial targets, as well as a review of the Centre's governance arrangements.

On Friday 23 November the Assembly Government provided a grant to WMC to enable it to pay off its £13.5m commercial loan with HSBC.   WMC has now paid off the loan and the Welsh Assembly Government has been released from the guarantee it had provided in relation to the loan.

Assembly Government officials are now working to develop a revised funding agreement and a methodology for a review of the WMC's governance arrangements. Work is also underway with the Arts Council of Wales to produce a new cultural vision encompassing all of the organisations resident at the WMC.