Posted: Wed 24th Mar 2021

Call for Welsh Government support to safeguard future of Theatr Clwyd

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Mar 24th, 2021

North Wales MS Mark Isherwood has called on the Welsh Government to provide the support Theatr Clwyd needs to ensure that it can stay open.

During questions to the Minister for Mental Health, Well-being and the Welsh language in today’s meeting of the Welsh Parliament, Mr Isherwood warned that the popular Mold venue could be in serious danger of closing unless funding is provided. He said:

“Theatr Clwyd’s Capital Redevelopment project in Mold is designed to secure Wales’ Biggest Producing Theatre for Future Generations.

“As Arts Council of Wales states ‘Theatr Clwyd is crucial to the wellbeing of people in North Wales through its high-quality and appealing programme of shows and its excellent outreach work in areas like dementia and youth justice. But it also provides jobs, attracts visitors into Wales and raises the profile of Welsh theatre with its high reputation across the UK’.

North Wales MS Mark Isherwood

“In 2018 they awarded £1.2m towards development of the plan – and the First Minister acknowledged in writing that Theatr Clwyd had ‘national significance’ and encouraged them to continue with the development of the scheme.”

“A successful planning application for the grade II listed theatre building followed in 2019.”

“Arts Council of Wales confirmed their next £5m of support in April 2020 in spite of the pandemic.”

“Last autumn, Welsh Government agreed to release £3m over two financial years to keep the project moving up to construction.”

“Construction is due to start in Spring 2022, with commitments needed by autumn 2021 to ensure progress and eligibility for raising further funds.”

“How do you therefore respond to concern that Theatr Clwyd will be in serious danger of closing without Welsh Government funding for this, and needs to ensure that decisions on this are not delayed.”

Responding, the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Dafydd Elis-Thomas said: “I accept the responsibility that I currently have as arts Minister for Theatr Clwyd, but also as somebody who has supported the theatre since it was first established, and I entirely agree with what you’ve said about its contribution.”

“But there are other arts venues across the north, like Galeri in Caernarfon, Ucheldre in Caergybi, Pontio in Bangor, Frân Wen, Theatr Bara Caws, Mostyn, Dawns i Bawb, Ruthin Craft Centre and, of course, Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias.”

“We have a whole range of arts venues and arts activities that we are committed to support, and these are all part of the arts council’s Arts Portfolio Wales.”

“And I very much welcome the way that the arts council’s capital lottery fund works alongside the arts council’s Art Portfolio Wales, and I sincerely hope that this—well, I am certain—that this will continue, because Welsh Government understands, as we’ve heard today, that culture is central to the activity of devolved Government.”

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