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Friday, 17 October 2008

£200,000 welcome boost for local arts centre

Local Plaid parliamentary candidate Penri James has said that £200,000 investment in an Aberystwyth arts centre will be a welcome boost to the area.

The money, announced by Plaid Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones, will go to the Aberystwyth Arts Centre to help to build a new 16 unit complex to house artists, craftspeople and related businesses.

The investment in Aberystwyth is part of a national package to allow communities across Wales to see national collections of art. Centres in Llandudno and Cardiff will also be receiving funding. The Minister said that following a feasibility study that showed that the creation of a National Gallery would cost the taxpayer £90m, he had taken the decision to invest in existing galleries across the nation so that a ‘mobile national gallery’ could be created.

Local Plaid parliamentary candidate, Penri James, said:

“This money will be a welcome boost to arts and culture in the area, the development of the new complex will increase in the amount of contemporary art created in this area. It will also make it easier for people living in the Aberystwyth area, from all backgrounds to contribute to and to experience our nation’s arts and culture.

“I welcome the decision by the Minister not to commit to the investment of £90m in a national gallery; this would be something our communities could ill afford at this time. The Minister has taken the only responsible course of action in the current economic climate.”


Gwenallt ap Wmffre said...

I'm really disappointed in this. Yet again the 'Arts' Centre is swallowing huge amounts of funding. Can't they stand on their own two feet yet? Why isn't money like this being pumped into places like Penparcau that have a huge population and no cultural funding/outlet. I really thought something would happen when 3 Plaid got in, but they've done absolutely nothing. Is there anything online that tells me what they're doing? I think it's time to push for a non-political community council. Shame really as they could have made a lot of difference. Ah well!

Penri James said...

Gwenallt - I have no truck with elitist arts centres and that includes others in Aberystwyth. The Arts Centre and the National Library are for all and I would encourage all to visit and have a look - they are not as crusty as what they used to be. I would hope that some of the £200k would trickle into the local economy including Penparcau. There has been a lot of Communities First money coming into Penparcau and Plaid Cymru Councillor Paul James - a Penparcau lad himself - has done a lot of work with the Boxing Hall which is currently being built. To date the Welsh Assembly Government has provided £1,582,362 to the Aberystwyth/Penparcau and Tregaron Communities First Areas and £353,590 funding from April 2008-March 2009 has been approved. A lot of this is down to work done by Councillors but also the work done by Elin Jones AM. Plaid does deliver and make a difference. Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Just came across this thread after searching for Penparcau, where I currently live. To be honest I think that people preferred the green space to the boxing club

I don't know anyone from the local area that boxes at all. It really surprised me that no attempt was made for it to fit in with the architecture up at that end of Penparcau, the only southern entrance into Aber. Looks really ugly, that whole area needs security lighting and a total revamp and the green areas protecting. I agree with you there has been a lot of work gone into getting money into Penparcau, but its hard to see what's being done for people that aren't under 18 or over 65. I think that it would be good for that office to be open every day and offer free Internet access etc. What I was surprised to see was the Transition Town stuff that's been happening. I Heard about it on Radio Cymru, then Ceredidion and Radio Wales. Lots of stuff here and on the BBC website

Penri James said...

Anonymous - the Boxing Club idea came from the community in Penparcau and did have a lot of local support. You must remember that the Green space was even bigger before they put a roundabout on it! The Transition Town material is interesting and it is as much about changing the culture of life - excuse any cliche - as it is about changing the appearance of towns.