First Minister launches multi-million pound arts centre for Bangor

First Minister Carwyn Jones AM at the Pontio site, where work is about to begin, with Vice-Chancellor Prof John G Hughes and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof Fergus LoweFirst Minister Carwyn Jones AM at the Pontio site, where work is about to begin, with Vice-Chancellor Prof John G Hughes and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof Fergus LowePontio, an iconic arts and innovation centre in the heart of Bangor was launched today [Friday 21 January] when First Minister Carwyn Jones visited the development.

The £37 million Pontio centre at Bangor University, which has received £27.5m from the Assembly Government and the European Union, will include a theatre with capacity for between 450-550 seats, cinema space, a studio theatre and an outdoor amphitheatre. It will be accompanied by exciting new social facilities including bars, dining and park areas.

Architect's impression of the Pontio buildingArchitect's impression of the Pontio buildingThe project will also include a dynamic innovation hub, with facilities for interdisciplinary design, enabling greater engagement with SMEs to drive the development of new products, processes and services. It is being designed to achieve the BREEAM “excellent” classification, demonstrating a commitment to environmental sustainability.

The centre will bring together the teaching of the arts and sciences and will also provide cutting-edge teaching and learning facilities that will benefit the local community, businesses and University students.  The centre is expected to open in 2013.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said:  “I’m pleased to be here today to see plans for this exciting development which will offer many facilities and opportunities for the city of Bangor and North West Wales.  This scheme will capitalise on local skills and expertise to create and safeguard hundreds of jobs and business opportunities which will promote economic growth in the area – proving that the project delivers on the Assembly Government’s vision for a vibrant and prosperous nation and proving that, here in Wales, we are using Structural Funds to effectively and strategically create a legacy of strong, sustainable growth.”

 

Alun Ffred Jones AM, Prof Fergus Lowe, Prof John G Hughes, Cllr W Tudor Owen, Chair Gwynedd Council, Cllr Dorothy Bulled, Mayor of Bangor and Cllr Sylvia Ann Humphries, Deputy MayoressAlun Ffred Jones AM, Prof Fergus Lowe, Prof John G Hughes, First Minister, Carwyn Jones AM, Cllr W Tudor Owen, Chair Gwynedd Council, Cllr Dorothy Bulled, Mayor of Bangor and Cllr Sylvia Ann Humphries, Deputy MayoressProfessor Fergus Lowe, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Bangor University said:

“We’re very excited to see this PONTIO project begin in earnest. PONTIO will provide a focal point for the local community as a Centre where people can meet, learn and be entertained. It will be a cultural beacon for Wales and a champion of the Welsh language. It will also be an internationally significant Centre for learning, innovation and the performing arts, and a potent symbol of regeneration, collaboration and economic growth for the whole community.”

Publication date: 21 January 2011