South East Wales

Cardiff arts venue tours for visually impaired

WMC
Image caption RNIB Cymru president Gareth Edwards has been on a tour

Blind and visually impaired people will be able to explore an iconic Cardiff venue with a series of special tours.

Wales Millennium Centre is introducing the tours, in which individuals will be guided around using touch and description.

Those taking part will be able to touch samples of material used in the building, including Welsh slate, steel and gypsum.

The tours have been developed in partnership with RNIB Cymru.

Centre staff have been fully trained by Cardiff Vales and Valleys Institute of Blind People (formerly Cardiff Institute for the Blind) to guide individuals around.

A tour highlight is the dressing rooms, where visitors can feel fabrics used in productions and try on hats used by cast members.

Welsh rugby legend and RNIB Cymru president Gareth Edwards, who has sampled a tour, said: "Wales Millennium Centre is to be commended for providing blind and visually impaired people with greater engagement in its work through these very welcome tours for visually impaired people.

"We are striving for much better accessibility to the arts and entertainment in Wales and we hope this will set the stage for similar developments in other major venues."

WMC head of visitors services Leonie Wallace said: "We pride ourselves on our accessibility policies and are recognised throughout the UK for our commitment.

"But we never rest on our laurels - we are always looking at ways to make a visit to the centre a memorable experience for all our visitors.

"This is the latest in a series of initiatives aimed at continually improving the quality of our service.

"We are particularly grateful for the support RNIB Cymru has given in developing our tours for visitors with a visual impairment."

Each tour lasts about an hour and a half and guide dogs are welcome.

The first public tour for blind and visually impaired people will take place on Saturday.

Bookings are also open for 12 December and 12 January, when musical Mamma Mia! is due to be performed.

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