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A new Chapter

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Nicola Heywood Thomas Nicola Heywood Thomas | 17:02 UK time, Monday, 23 November 2009

Cardiff's Chapter Arts Centre is being officially re-launched this week. It's had a glossy new look and, more importantly, the former school has undergone major structural changes and improvements over the last 12 months or so.

The re-development has cost the best part of £4 million and has completely transformed the foyer and bar areas and refurbished the cinemas and theatre.

The centre, which opened over 30 years ago, plays a big part in the lives of many people on the western side of Cardiff. It's as much a community resource as a cutting edge arts centre and you're as likely to bump into six-year-olds coming from ballet class or mothers with babies as leading arts practitioners.

I think a mark of what makes Chapter special is the fact that it stayed open throughout the extensive refurbishment. The bar and restaurant and theatre spaces were moved to other sections of the building and, obviously, the parts under construction were cordoned off. The audiences and other visitors still came and now the move into the new Chapter has started well too.

On Tuesday 24 November there's an evening of celebration - live music and other performance all evening in the main concourse is all free. That follows some brief formalities; speeches from the main funders - Arts Council of Wales, EU, Welsh Assembly Government are the big ones though public donations played a significant part in the redevelopment too. Also speaking will be two of the original founders of Chapter - Christine Kinsey and Mik Flood and I think it'll be really interesting to know how they feel about the centre three decades on.

After that it's party time and I'm betting it'll be standing room only in the Chapter Bar.

By the way, the Radio Wales Arts Show on Thursday 26 November looks at the redevelopment of Chapter and goes behind the centre's shiny new frontage.


  • Comment number 1.

    Hi Nicola,

    Enjoying reading your posts, and a great special on Chapter - just caught up tonight, a really interesting listen.

    I'm a trainee broadcast journalist on the diploma course at Cardiff, specialising in arts and the media, so have followed both your show and the Chapter redevelopment with interest. I was at the launch celebrations last week - what an impressive night! It's certainly a good time to be an arts fan in Wales.


  • Comment number 2.

    Hi James

    Thanks for the kind comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the Chapter programme. It is a great redevelopment and I agree it's a good time to be an arts fan at the moment.
    If you're specialising in arts and media on the diploma course, do keep in touch and if I can help with anything, I'd be more than happy to.

    Enjoy the course - and please keep listening to the arts show!

    Nicola HT

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi Nicola,

    I enjoyed the show on Touch Trust tonight - a completely new topic to me, and one well explained by the fantastic contributors. Loved their passion for the project - out of interest, what made you decide to investigate the work Touch Trust are doing?

    Would it be at all possible to meet with you and the team behind the arts show to get a better idea of how it is put together - i.e. research, production techniques, recording etc. As I mentioned before, arts and culture are a passion of mine, and it seems silly not to take the chance to find out more about how you make your show whilst I am based in Cardiff.

    Any help much appreciated!


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