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Pontypridd to lose out again as Council proposes to close Muni.

January 2, 2014 2:00 PM

As reported by the Pontypridd Observer there is growing anger at RCT Labour Council's proposal to close the Muni Arts Centre in Pontypridd.

The Labour Cabinet meet on 8th January to discuss the start of a consultation on phase 2 of their savage cuts which include a suggestion that the Muni should be closed.

The Arts Centre has for many years provided a venue for music and comedy gigs, theatre productions and films. The Council's own 'Love Ponty' site claims

"Pontypridd has a vibrant live-music scene with many venues dotted throughout the town centre offering a wide variety of bands and soloists. At the heart of this culture lies the Muni Arts Centre, which offers year-round entertainment including music, dance, comedy, stage productions, feature films and local band nights."

Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillor Mike Powell says he cannot understand the Council's reasoning

"There are three theatres in RCT, of which the Muni is the more financially viable. Why is it then that the Labour administration wants to close that down? Pontypridd is supposedly the County Town of RCT, and we are constantly hearing from the Labour party how much they are spending and how they are planning on regenerating it.

"Yet they are tearing up the paddling pool against the wishes of the public, to build an open air Lido which it is increasingly likely will not be affordable and will be put out to private contract. Now they want to close the Muni.

"Hopefully someone will come forward and take it over, but why is there no mention of them looking to find someone to do just that in the report to Cabinet? Furthermore why is it acceptable to close the Muni yet continue to subsidise theatres in Rhondda and Cynon?

"I certainly don't want to see any of them close, but there is a question mark over whether or not the Council, any Council, is the right body to run these venues.

"There seems to be little or no imagination or initiative amongst the Labour administration or indeed Officers. The PR and Strategy Department employs a whole raft of event co-ordinators - maybe they should review what is being offered at all of these venues.

"The events team work with Orchard Entertainment on events such as Ponty's Big Weekend, yet the Council claim they do not make a profit from that? Why on earth not? It is a large event and presumably OrchardEntertainment make a very tidy sum from it. Why doesn't the Council? That profit could be used to subsidise other arts and cultural events."