News and Events
Publication date: 30/05/2007
Ambitious plans to develop a multi-million pound Performing Arts Centre have been announced by Bangor University and Theatr Gwynedd.
The new building would be constructed on the site of Theatr Gwynedd and could include not only theatre space but also performance workshops and other areas for use by professional performance artists, the local community and the University.
Janet Roberts, Chair of the Theatr Gwynedd Management Board said: "A new facility that allows us to develop the performing arts in Bangor and the surrounding area will be fantastic. We want to make the theatre more accessible to a larger number of people, and by having a new building it will allow us to expand our provision.
"We have been in discussions with officers from the University, which also own the building, as well as the Arts Council of Wales, Gwynedd Council and Isle of Anglesey County Council and everyone has shown great enthusiasm for the proposal.
"This would be a wonderful asset for Bangor and the surrounding area as in addition to benefiting local people, it will also attract visitors, tourism and more customers for local businesses."
A feasibility study will be carried out shortly which will examine the possibilities in more detail and establish the full cost of the project.
Meri Huws from Bangor University said: "This is a tremendously exciting proposal and we are keen to hear what local community groups would like to see in the new development. For example, it could include a large auditorium and separate rooms for performance rehearsals and use by local community groups.
"If you're involved in drama, dance, music or any other performance arts, let us know what you'd like to see in the new development.
Letters should be sent to either: Meri Huws, Bangor University, College Road, Bangor, LL57 2DG or Dafydd Thomas, Theatre Director, Theatr Gwynedd, Bangor, LL57 2TL.
The timescale for the new development could see the current building closing in the autumn of 2008.
During the period when the building is closed, Theatr Gwynedd will be continuing their programme by using other locations not only in Bangor but also on Ynys Môn. A wide range of community work will also be developed as Dafydd Thomas, the Theatre Director explained:
"We're planning for the current building to close in the autumn of 2008 and the staff to move to temporary offices in Bangor until the new building is completed. However during that period we will be making use of other facilities in the area, including the University and also by taking our productions into the community at various locations in Gwynedd and Ynys Môn.
"We will be making the most of this opportunity to introduce the theatre and performing arts to local schools and local communities. It will allow us to raise awareness of the arts in the area and to involve many more people in our activities before we open the new facilities.
"I would encourage everyone to let us know what you'd like to see in the new Centre. It's only by hearing your views that we can provide the best programme of activities for local people.
A number of issues have been identified with the theatre building which was constructed in the early 1970s, and these will have to be addressed. During the summer of 2006 the University agreed in consultation with the Arts Council and Theatr Gwynedd to remedy some of the more urgent defects at a cost of over £250,000, funded primarily by the Arts Council, but it is clear that a new building is now the best way forward.
The University is also considering a replacement for the Students' Union building as it develops its estates strategy for the next ten years.