Theatre in Wales

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Final theatre decision deferred     

The long-running debate over whether a new theatre will be built in Wrexham has taken a further twist.

The executive board of Wrexham Council has deferred a final decision on whether the theatre and conference centre project will go ahead.

Two weeks ago, the full council voted not to proceed with the £6m project due to spiralling costs and lack of public support.

But the executive board has to make the final decision and has postponed it until members have studied a report from the board of the Wrexham Theatre Trust.

The report claims that the council entered into a binding agreement with the trust on 24 July, 2003 to build the theatre.

The report also states that the transfer deed between landowners Yale College and the council for the land for the theatre includes a provision of a penalty payment of around £100,000 if the project did not go ahead.

Vote against

The Executive Board will receive legal advice before their next meeting in three weeks time.

Following the decision by the full Wrexham Council not to build the theatre, its trustees said they felt "let down" by councillors.

The motion against the theatre scheme was carried by 24 votes to 18.

Work was due to start on the project, which has been in the pipeline for six years, next summer.

The trustees claim that councillors did not have the full facts when they rejected the project.

Plans to build a new theatre in Wrexham have faced obstacles from the very start.

Funding concerns

In October, the company due to build the 400-seat venue pulled out just weeks before starting work.

And when Wrexham Council contacted the second tender to do the work instead, it had gone into administration.

This led to some councillors calling for the local authority to drop the scheme because of concerns over funding.

People living locally have also objected to the scheme claiming there was no need for another theatre in the area.

The William Aston Hall is nearby, as are the Stiwt in Rhosllanerchrugog and Theatre Clwyd Cymru.

The Arts Council of Wales had awarded a grant of £4.6m towards the project, which will be lost if the theatre is not built.
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Thursday, December 18, 2003back



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