Mid Wales

Builth Wells Wyeside Arts Centre gets £190,000 facelift

Wyeside Arts Centre
Image caption New seating and lighting will be installed in the Wyeside Arts Centre's Market Theatre

A Powys art centre which has been threatened with closure in recent years is to receive a £190,000 facelift.

Wyeside Arts Centre's Market Theatre in Builth Wells, which also houses a cinema, is set to get new seating and lighting as part of the makeover.

Wyeside is also a music venue and art gallery, and has about 40,000 visitors a year.

The Market Hall, where the arts centre is based, was built in 1877.

Wyeside's future has been under threat in recent years due to rising running costs.

Then it lost £67,000 in funding in the Arts Council of Wales' investment review last year.

But it has managed to keep going and Wyeside's chair Barbara Stow is confident about its future.

'Feeling really confident'

"The new Market Theatre will give audiences a much more comfortable and enjoyable experience in this wonderfully intimate space," said Mrs Stow.

"We're all feeling really confident about the future.

"The support we've had from the community, from funders and other arts organisations over the past 18 months has encouraged us to make lots of plans for the cinema and live events," said Mrs Stow.

There will be a fuller community programme including drama for young people at the centre, she added.

Market Theatre's facelift includes new seating arranged in one continuous tier. There will also be improved lighting, and the theatre space will be re-arranged.

Cinema-goers will also benefit from the improvements to seating and acoustics.

The £190,000 in funding has come from a variety of sources, including Aggregates Levy Fund for Wales, Powys council, the Foyle Foundation, the Friends of Wyeside and anonymous donors.

Market Theatre will be closed from next January to March for the work to take place.

But the arts centre will stay open throughout, with a full cinema programme.

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