Theatr Clwyd today announces Arts Council of Wales and Flintshire County Council support for the initial design and development stages for a major capital redevelopment. Theatr Clwyd has secured £1.01 million for the detailed design and development work from the Arts Council of Wales with Flintshire County Council allocating match funding of £330,000.
The wider redevelopment plans will ensure the company’s future sustainability and cement its position as a key cultural and community asset in Flintshire, Wales and the UK.
Built in 1976, Theatr Clwyd celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2016 and is one of a select few major arts organisations in Britain to have retained the full-range of theatrical skills with expert in-house set builders, prop makers, scenic artists and wardrobe teams. A major local employer with a core staff of 63 and over another 100 casual workers, it generates employment for over 300 actors, directors, creatives and technicians every year and is home to a thriving creative engagement team who worked throughout the region with over 40,000 people last year, delivering projects with schools and community groups on subjects from youth justice through to dealing with Dementia.
Its events, seen by over 180,000 people a year (and a major galvaniser for tourism as a gateway to north Wales) are also exported, touring Wales and the UK with over 220,000 people seeing a Theatr Clwyd production on tour in 2016/17. It works alongside venues including Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre, The Other Room, the National Theatre and touring companies such as Theatr Genedlaethol, Headlong and Paines Plough to produce acclaimed and award-winning shows.
While the reputation of the organisation has soared, taking it and the name of Flintshire and its hometown of Mold around the UK, the building has had little investment in its structure and fabric for over 40 years. Plans for redevelopment and major regional investment would ensure that residents and tourists alike would have access to a modern, 21st century cultural hub that can continue to deliver world-class theatre, film, art and music for another 40 years.
The plans for the redevelopment are estimated at £30m. This includes substantial improvement in public areas, new facilities for community engagement with young people, the development of full onsite workshops to aid the growth of the apprentice programmes for theatre making crafts and spaces for health and wellbeing, as well as the overhaul of all mechanical and engineering within the building. The scheme is strongly supported by Flintshire County Council and by The Arts Council of Wales, who have earmarked a further £5m within their capital planning budget. The project has also already received a substantial private donation to kickstart the project and has received the backing of Welsh Government.
Theatr Clwyd’s Executive Director Liam Evans-Ford said today, “In 1976 an arts hub was created in north Wales. It has since become one of the major producing theatres in the UK and it is part of our duty to ensure the people of Flintshire and north Wales have a building to match the quality of work housed within it. This initial support from our Local Authority, the Arts Council of Wales and Welsh Government is to be applauded as we collectively work to ensure future generations benefit from the creative work made here in north east Wales even more than the millions of people before them. As we step through this capital project we will also focus on how our wider impact within the community, and economy, continues to grow and make us more resilient and relevant for the future.”