Pullman joins protest over Welsh Book Council cuts

Pullman joins protest over Welsh Book Council cuts

A petition launched yesterday to protest cuts to the Welsh Book Council (WBC) has garnered more than 500 signatures, including that of author Philip Pullman.

The petition calls on culture minister Ken Skates to stop the proposed cuts to the WBC, which it claims “comes after a decade of standstill funding for the Welsh publishing industry."

The WBC is facing a 10.6% cut to its £3.5m funding from the Welsh government for 2016/17, equivalent to £374,000. The cut to the Welsh-language publishing grant, also set at 10.6%, will amount to £187,000.

The WBC currently supports 300 publications a year – around 200 in Welsh and up to 100 in English. It also supports a large number of magazines and periodicals in both languages.

The petition argues that the proposed funding slashes "represent a major threat to the future of Welsh publishing and literature."

Creater of the petition, Rosie Johns, said: “The Welsh publishing industry provides skilled work for an estimated one thousand plus people, and enables Welsh literature to thrive nationally and internationally. This latest cut, an unprecedented 10.6%, is a threat to the future of the Welsh cultural and creative landscape, in which literature and publishing hold a central role.”The petition has currently been signed by 563 people.

Yesterday, Pullman, who has recently resigned as patron of the Oxford Literary Festival over author pay, tweeted his support to the book council, asking to be added to the petition.

The petition has currently been signed by 563 people.

Welsh writers and publishers have sent two seperate letters to the Welsh government criticising the cuts.