Wales

Pontypridd Muni arts centre £4.5m revamp planned

Artist impression of redevelopment of the Muni Arts Centre, Pontypridd Image copyright Purcell/Awen
Image caption How a redeveloped Muni Arts Centre could look

Plans to re-open an arts centre in the south Wales valleys have been presented to councillors.

The Muni, in Pontypridd, closed in December 2018 in the face of mounting debts.

Awen Cultural Trust plans a £4.5m refurbishment and redevelopment and is in discussion with Rhondda Cynon Taf council about taking on the lease.

The organisation, which runs Porthcawl's Grand Pavilion, aims to re-open the Muni next June.

The Muni previously closed in 2014 amid council budget cuts, but reopened under a coalition of groups in a community asset transfer.

However, the venue closed again in 2018 with staff being made redundant as the tenants said they had been "dogged" by financial problems.

Image copyright Jaggery/Geograph
Image caption The Muni has been closed since December 2018

Council bosses took back control of the building and, after inviting interested parties to come forward, chose Awen, which has been running cultural services in the Bridgend area since 2015.

A report to Tuesday's cabinet meeting said: "To secure the long-term sustainable future of the Muni Arts Centre, an ambitious set of proposals for the refurbishment and restoration of the building have been proposed by Awen Cultural Trust.

"These proposals take advantage of the original neo-gothic architecture of this valued Grade II-listed building whilst reconfiguring and enhancing the facility to create a first class arts and entertainment venue for the residents of Rhondda Cynon Taf and wider region."

Following a presentation by Awen to the cabinet, council leader Andrew Morgan said the work with the trust had been "really positive", according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Mr Morgan added it would be "great news" if the venue could re-open by June.

Councillor Heledd Fychan said life in Pontypridd had been "poorer" without the Muni and welcomed the proposals.

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