The First Decade List According to Key Subject Areas





Youth & Lifelong Learning

Older People

The Economy

Health and Social Care

Social Justice

Equality and Human Rights





Sport and Culture


The Welsh Language

Welsh Law

Wales and the World

Introduction to the 'What They've Done For Us'  list 



Sport and Culture

The First Decade

Welcome to Aled Edwards' "What They've Done For Us" Sport and Culture list. Written a little in the style of Monty Python's Life of Brian "What have the Romans done for us?"  the list aims to provide a reliable record of the distinctive Welsh policies brought about by devolution (1999-2009). Beyond underlining the distinctiveness of Welsh policies no substantive attempt is made here to evaluate the performance of Welsh Assembly Governments or to list the policies brought about by other UK legislatures but not adopted in Wales. The dates in brackets normally indicate when the development was announced by the Welsh Assembly Government through a press release.

Third Assembly 2007 - 2009

bullet Welcomed the recommendations made by Ofcom as set out in Phase 3 of Ofcom’s second review of public service broadcasting. The Welsh Assembly Government and the Advisory Group on Broadcasting had previously emphasised the importance of maintaining plurality of programmes made in Wales for Welsh audiences. (January 2009).
bullet Announced that an agreement had been reached in partnership with the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) to put in place long term financial support for the Urdd National Eisteddfod. (October 2008).
bullet Announced that a new action plan would be developed to meet the challenge of boosting levels of physical activity in Wales. (September 2008).
bullet Announced the first steps in the development of an online collection of the history of Wales and its people - the first of its kind in the UK. (June 2008).
bullet Outlined plans to introduce free access for children and pensioners to all Cadw charging sites throughout Wales. (June 2008).
bullet Launched Libraries for Life: Delivering a Modern Library Service for Wales, a distinctive three year plan for Welsh libraries, which saw a record level of investment and support for services designed around modern lifestyles. (May 2008).
bullet Made progress towards establishing a National English language theatre in Wales by announcing a Chair for the Theatre. (December 2007).
bullet Announced plans to bring greater financial stability to the Wales Millennium Centre. (November 2007).
bullet Provided funding for a new Owain Glyn Dŵr statue in Corwen. (September 2007).
bullet Sent a message of support to the artists and organisers of the Wales Pavilion at Europe’s premier art exposition, the Venice Biennale.  Wales had its own pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2003, 2005 and 2006. The Biennale is a bi-annual event. (June 2007).

Second Assembly 2003 - 2007

bullet The Welsh Assembly Government's Minister for Culture joined George Melly to launch HSBC Brecon Jazz 2006. HSBC was unveiled as the festivals’ first title sponsor in it’s 23 year history. The Welsh Assembly Government, through the Arts Council for Wales, also supported the event. (March 2006).
bullet Launched the North Wales Outdoor Activity Partnership at Plas Menai, the National Watersports Centre, near Caernarfon. (February 2006).
bullet Launched the Library of Wales series. The series aims to showcase 20th century Welsh writing in English by reintroducing important works across a range of styles, and ensure that they are sustained in print. (January 2006).
bullet Announced the provision of £150,000 worth of sponsorship to the athletes going to the Commonwealth Games. (January 2006).
bullet Announced free entry to Welsh castles on St David's Day. (January 2006).
bullet Met Lord Coe, Chair of the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, and other UK Sports Ministers in Cardiff for an update on preparations for the Games. Lord Coe was addressing a meeting of the UK Sports Cabinet, which took place in the Wales Millennium Centre. The meeting was chaired by Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Richard Caborn, Minister for Sport, Patricia Ferguson MSP, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, Scottish Executive and David Hanson MP, Minister of State, Northern Ireland. (November 2005).

The First Minister praised the decision to select the Millennium Stadium to host the Heineken Cup final in 2006 as "a terrific boost " for Wales. The Welsh Assembly Government put a grant of £25,000 into the budget involved. (October 2005).

bullet Announced that 10 important paintings from the Penrhyn Castle collection had been safeguarded for the people of Wales. (October 2005).
bullet The First Minister, jointly with the legendary Gareth Edwards, opened the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea. The project received financial support of almost £11 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund , and from the Welsh Assembly Government, European Union Objective 1 funding, the Welsh Development Agency, the Wales Tourist Board, NMGW, the City and County of Swansea and the private sector. (October 2005).
bullet Announced an European boost to Llangollen’s Royal International Pavilion. Additional funds would help the Royal Pavilion in Llangollen to host year round entertainment. (September 2005).
bullet Hosted an exhibition of emerging Welsh talent in San Francisco. Funded by the Welsh Assembly Government through its Objective 1 programme, the "Creative Country" exhibition was attended by representatives from across the San Francisco arts sector. (September 2005).
bullet Welcomed golfers from all over the world to Wales. 80 golfers from 31 countries worldwide  part in the final of the International Pairs competition at The Celtic Manor Resort, near Newport. (June 2005).
bullet Four museums across Wales to share £55,000 from the Welsh Assembly Government. The grants were awarded under the Cyfoeth Cymru Gyfan – Sharing Treasures scheme, which helps local museums cover the costs of taking exhibits on loan from the National Museums & Galleries of Wales (NMGW) collections, as well as delivering exhibitions and services from NMGW at a local level. (May 2005).
bullet After more than five years in temporary accommodation the Dragon Arts and Learning Project, which supports homeless and unemployed people in Swansea moved to a permanent home with £307,572 Objective 1 European Funding from the Welsh Assembly Government. (May 2005).
bullet Announced support for Newport's hosting of the first ever Women's World Cup of Cycling race to be held in the UK. (May 2005).
bullet Sought to support the Racecourse ground in Wrexham describing the stadium as a nationally significant ground - the only venue North of the M4 where Wales can play international football and rugby matches and sought to persuade the Welsh Rugby Union to play more games at the Racecourse. (April 2005).
bullet Announced a grant of £100,000 to help secure the future of the Faenol Festival. The one-off grant from the Assembly Government  supported the staging of the 2005 event, as the festival goes through a period of management and financial restructuring, and help to secure the delivery of the festival in future years. (March 2005).
bullet Launched a new scheme for museums in Wales. The Museum Accreditation Scheme gives requirements about how museums should document and care for their collections, be governed and managed, and what information and services they should offer their visitors. (March 2005).
bullet Announced that since devolution, investment in the arts in Wales had almost doubled from £14,541m in 1999 to this year’s record £26,615m. (February 2005).
bullet Confirmed the first 20 titles to be included in a new series of classic Welsh books. Funded by the Welsh Assembly Government, the ‘Library of Wales’ collection showcases the very best of English language writing from Wales and markets them to readers and bookshops everywhere. (December 2004).
bullet Hailed the opening of the Wales Millennium Centre. The Welsh Assembly Government provided £37 million towards the total £106.2 million cost of the Wales Millennium Centre with a further £2 million per year in financial support. (November 2004).
bullet Complained to the BBC of the ‘England-centric coverage’ of the  England-Wales World Cup qualifier. (October 2004).
bullet Gave £15,000 to support the establishment of the prestigious Dylan Thomas Prize. (August 2004).
bullet Launched a new grant to help museums, archives and libraries attract new users. The Annog Addysg : Inspiring Learning scheme would make available around £170,000 for local museums, archives and libraries to develop learning opportunities and encourage innovative approaches to delivering services. The grant would be administered by the Assembly division CyMAL: Museums Archives and Libraries Wales. (August 2004).
bullet Established The Historic Environment Group as part of the Welsh Assembly Government's cultural forum, Cymru'n Creu, which brings together all the main cultural organisations in Wales. (June 2004).
bullet Announced the first eight members of the CyMAL Advisory Council. CyMAL: Museums Archives and Libraries Wales was a newly-formed division of the Welsh Assembly Government, set up to help ensure that local museum, archive and library services in Wales develop to meet the needs of people in the 21st century. (April 2004).
bullet Welcomed the FIA World Motor Sports Council’s confirmation of the Wales Rally GB’s full championship status for 2004. (March 2004).
bullet Signed a landmark agreement with the administrations in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland to collaborate on cultural issues. The creation of a Joint Forum encourages museums, archives and libraries in Wales to share and receive expertise from colleagues across the whole of the UK. (December 2003).
bullet Launched a  free of charge weather forecast for hill walkers and climbers in the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia. The £12,000 for the forecast was funded from the £40k made available from the Welsh Assembly Government to the Sports Council. (October 2003).
bullet Announced a new £2 million arts fund to bring the performing arts to people throughout Wales. (October 2003).
bullet The 20th annual Brecon Jazz Festival was opened by First Minister Rhodri Morgan opened the event after announcing a funding package of up to £381,000 for the Festival to help secure the longer term future of the festival and to enable it to be staged in 2003. (August 2003).

First Assembly 1999 - 2003

bullet Gave £500,000 to help bring events such as the FA Cup Final to Cardiff. (March 2001).
bullet Ensured that review of the National Lottery announced by Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Tessa Jowell, would have a distinct Welsh voice. (April 2002).
bullet Helped secure, through new partnerships, the Ryder Cup 2010 for Wales through the Team Wales bid. (September 2001).
bullet Announced a one off grant to rescue the Cardiff Special Olympics UK. (July 2001).
bullet Set up a Football Forum for Wales for the development of young football players in Wales, including women’s football. (June 2001).
bullet Welcomed the British Wheelchair Championships to Wales. (June 2001).
bullet Provided free entry to nearly 1.1 million visitors to museums in Wales from April 2001.
bullet Established Cymru’n Creu as strategic body of organisations working to strengthen the cultural life and industries of Wales. (February 2001).
bullet Announced an extra £60,000 for the National Museum for 2001-2002 to extend free admission to students and the disabled. (Budget - November 2000).
bullet Announced backing for the Wales Millennium Centre. (September 2000).
bullet Announced that children would be able to visit the National Museums & Galleries of Wales free of charge for the first time in twelve years from the 1st April, 2000.  Also announced that that the over sixties and unemployed could visit the National Museums & Galleries free of charge from 1 May. (April 2000).