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Further three years of funding secured for “active and vibrant community facility”

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Saturday, Dec 15th, 2018.

An arts trust in charge of a Grade II listed theatre in Wrexham is to receive a further three years of funding from Wrexham Council to help continue delivering its programme of cultural events.

Members of the executive board last week unanimously backed proposals to provide a further annual grant of £30,433 to the Stiwt Trust between April 2019 and March 2022.

Councillors also agreed to allocated a one off payment of £25,000 “to bridge a shortfall” and allow the trust to carry out a series of essential repairs on the building.

The Stiwt, located in Rhosllannerchrugog, is owned by Wrexham Council, however the trust hold a 25 year lease and are responsible for repairs and maintenance of the building.

Back in 2015 councillors agreed to cut funding by 20 per cent down to a £30,433 figure from an earlier £74,300 sum. In effect the cut has now stopped, with the stabilised £30k sum to be ongoing for the next three years.

However a report presented to councillors yesterday stated that: “The Stiwt Trust (the Trust) have managed the financial reduction well generating income from other sources to enable them to continue to maintain the building and to provide a wide programme of activities and events.

“Targets in relation to ticket sales have exceeded projections, the target for room hire has been met and the bar income is less than projected. Overall, however income from self-generated sources is higher than projected.”

It is also noted in the report that: “The continuation of funding at the lowest level of £30,433 will enable the Trust to secure additional funding to retain the building as an active and vibrant community facility, providing a range of Welsh arts and cultural activities and events.”

In 2014 the Rhos Estate Office was relocated into the Stiwt with rent ‘at market value’ being paid from the Housing Revenue account, and it appears there is intent to extend that for a further three years as well as it is a ‘suitable’ location to continue to deliver local housing services from.

Speaking at at last week’s meeting Cllr Hugh Jones, lead member for communities, partnerships, public protection and community safety, said this plan will “ensure a period of stability for the trust and the building itself”.

He continued: ” “It’s a community building which is very much at the heart of Rhosllanerchrugog, but it’s also a building from which outreach goes out to a much broader area across the county borough as a whole.

“This plan will ensure a period of stability for the trust and the building itself.

“It is also good in terms of finances if you look at the cost of mothballing the building of over £40,000.

“It’s interesting to look at some of the work the Stiwt Trust does and in terms of promoting Welsh language and Welsh heritage they are excellent.

“They nurture young talent across their own and the wider community of Wrexham.”

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