One of the few bright arts sparks in Wales may be dimmed by a local council proposal to remove three-quarters of its funding. Powys County Council gives all of £9,000 to the bucolic Presteigne Festival, which twins a composer in residence with such interesting talent as Anne Queffélec, Alice Neary, Gretel Dowdeswell, Sarah Jane Bradley, Anthony Marwood, Chenyin Li and the Sorrel String Quartet.
But Powys also supports a Community and Voluntary Sector fund, which pays for Presteigne’s outreach work. Powys wants to cut this fund back by 75% in 2013/14 to £100,000, a pot for which all social organisations would compete. That would disable the festival’s most valuable work – the way it extends music far out into the community.