The Books Council of Wales has welcomed emergency funding of £150,000 from the Welsh Government to help the books sector during the current coronavirus crisis.

The Books Council of Wales has welcomed emergency funding of £150,000 from the Welsh Government to help the books sector during the current coronavirus crisis.

The fund will be administered by the Books Council, the national charity responsible for supporting the book industry and promoting reading in Wales.

The additional money for the book sector is part of a comprehensive £18m package of support for the culture, arts and sport sector Wales announced by Welsh Government Wednesday 1 April 2020.

In announcing the fund, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, said: “We’ve listened to our many stakeholders in these vulnerable sectors. We understand that these are uncertain times for business and organisations across Wales and fully recognise the massive and unprecedented challenges Coronavirus is having on the fabric of Welsh life. The Welsh Government is committed to doing everything possible to support the resilience, creativity and partnership which is being shown by the sector.

“Taking this further step will enable this sector to withstand this difficult time and to hopefully thrive again – and bring communities together once more when the emergency has passed.”

The emergency package will include support for independent bricks-and-mortar bookshops in Wales to help them respond to cash flow pressures and minimise the impact of coronavirus.

The Books Council will now be consulting with the wider publishing industry to identify other areas experiencing the most significant disruption as a result of the pandemic.

The Chief Executive of the Books Council of Wales, Helgard Krause, said: “We warmly welcome the emergency funding announced by Welsh Government today to support the books sector in Wales. These are extremely testing times for any business and we are particularly concerned about the impact on independent bookshops who make such an important contribution to our communities and our economy, especially in rural areas. We will continue to work closely with them and the wider publishing sector to support our industry throughout these difficult times.”

The emergency fund is in addition to the support for business and the self-employed already announced by the UK Government.

“In these testing, turbulent times the health and well-being of people has to be the overriding priority, but we also need to ensure that when we come through this pandemic we still have a thriving publishing industry in Wales. Not only does it make a significant contribution to our economy and creative industries, successive studies have also demonstrated the wider benefits of reading in terms of our mental health as well as the development of key skills and knowledge acquisition,” added Ms Krause. books website

The Books Council of Wales also confirmed that its books website would reopen for individual orders from the public from Wednesday 1 April 2020.

The move is aimed at helping the publishing industry as well as meeting demand for books during self-isolation, at a time when many bookshops have had to temporarily close their doors.

People who buy from the site can nominate a local bookshop of their choice who will then receive their usual commission on each sale.

There are more than 11,000 titles in Welsh or about Wales on the website, and availability will depend on stock levels in the Distribution Centre as no deliveries can be received at present and some publishing schedules are being revised.

A list of independent bookshops in Wales offering an online mailing service for books is available on the Books Council website.