Agenda Item No


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Cabinet Meeting:  16 December, 2013


Report of the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development


Beyond the Border International Story Telling Festival


Purpose of the Report

1.         The purpose of this report is to approve a grant to the Beyond the Border International Story Telling Festival. 


1.         That a grant of £5,500 be awarded to the Beyond the Border International Story Telling Festival 2014/15 subject to a Deed of Grant being completed.

2.         That the Director of Development Services, in consultation with the Head of Legal Services, agree terms with Beyond the Border for a Deed of Grant.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To demonstrate the Council's support for major cultural events in the Vale of Glamorgan.

2.         To ensure that the Council gains sufficient publicity for its support and that community groups have access to outreach work carried out by Beyond the Border.


2.         The Beyond the Border International Story Telling Festival has developed considerably over the years, to the point where it now runs a year-round programme of events and activities, which culminate in the biannual festival at St. Donats Castle.  As the festival is the largest single event in the two year Beyond the Border calendar, attracting over 2,000 people to St. Donats, the festival weekend has tended to be the main subject of previous applications for funding support from the Vale of Glamorgan Council.  The weekend is, however, only one part of the Beyond the Border Festival and the previous support given by the Vale of Glamorgan Council has been used for the extensive outreach programme.  The outreach activities bring story telling and music to people of all ages in schools, pensioner centres, residential homes etc. who would otherwise be unlikely to attend the event at St. Donats.      

Relevant Issues and Options

3.         A request has now been received from the Beyond the Border Festival for a grant on an annual basis of £5,500 for 2013/14 and a further £5,500 in 2014/15 which will cover the actual year in which the festival is held (July 2014).  The request for funding is to support not just the biannual festival at St. Donats but also to support a year-round programme of work that includes the urban Vale of Glamorgan.  In addition, the organisation is also looking for continuation of in kind support in the form of modular tent and other items of equipment available from the Council's events section.  This is a matter that can be explored outside of the scope of this report.

4.         The Beyond the Border Festival is an event that does attract over 2,000 people to St. Donats with 60% of attendees at the 2012 festival coming from outside Wales and is, therefore, viewed as a significant tourist attraction.  In assessing the request, officers have assessed the merits of the festival as well as the additional work undertaken by the organisation.  The organisation itself acknowledges that it is the festival itself that has tended to be the main subject of funding applications.  In considering the request for funding it is acknowledged that the organisation has developed outreach activities and has also developed a programme around storytelling in schools, Pensioner's centres and homes.  It is for this reason that the organisation has sought to split a grant request into two years with £5,500 for 2013/14 with anticipation for a further £5,500 in 2014/15.

5.         In terms of moving forward, it is recommended that a grant of £5,500 be awarded for 2014/15, which is the year of the Festival.  It is not recommended to award an additional grant of £5,500 during this financial year (2013/14) due to resource pressures, and due to the need to fund a variety of events across the Council and throughout the year.  There is nevertheless merit in looking at links between the organisation and the Communities First Board in Barry, a matter which has been raised in the information submitted by the organisation in support of their funding request.

6.         Finally, in recommending a grant, the Council will be working with the organisation to ensure that there is recognition and of the support given by the Council to the festival.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

7.         Any funding approved by Cabinet for the Beyond the Border Story Telling Festival would be allocated from the Council's events budget.  In addition to the request for a grant from the Vale of Glamorgan Council, the festival does also benefit from grant from the Arts Council for Wales and the Welsh Government Major Events Fund.  The festival does also apply for other grants and does raise income via attendance fees and other trading income such as concessions on the festival site.   The Council has had sight of the organisation's funding streams when arriving at the recommendations in this report. 

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

8.         The Beyond the Border International Story Telling Festival has always placed emphasis on issues relating to ecology and climate change and places a large emphasis on sustainability.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

9.         Any grant would need to be subject to a Deed of Grant which would require the Council's support of the event to be fully recognised and would detail the levels of outreach expected.

Crime and Disorder Implications

10.      There are no crime and disorder implications associated with this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

11.      The Beyond the Border International Story Telling Festival is committed to compliance with the Council's Equal Opportunity Policies.

Corporate/Service Objectives

12.      The Vale of Glamorgan Council is keen to see a wide range of exciting and interesting cultural events being staged throughout the Vale of Glamorgan.

Policy Framework and Budget

13.      This report is a matter for executive decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

14.      No ward member consultation has taken place as the outreach events are spread throughout the Vale of Glamorgan.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

15.      Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

Requests for grant and background papers provided by the Beyond the Border International Story Telling Festival.


Contact Officer

David Knevett, Operational Manager, Leisure and Tourism.


Officers Consulted

Head of Finance

Operational Manager, Legal

Tourism and Marketing Manager

Operational Manager, Corporate Policy and Communications

Events Officer

Arts Development Officer


Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Service