Posted: Thu 15th Oct 2015

20% Council Funding Cut For Wrexham Theatre for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Oct 15th, 2015

A Wrexham theatre is to have the yearly funding it receives from Wrexham Council cut by 20%.

The Stiwt, which is based in Rhos is to see a reduction in the yearly funding support it receives from Wrexham Council – with a reduction of 20% across the next three years. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Back in May 2013 members agreed to continue to provide funding support for the Stiwt at £74,300 for 2013/14 and £74,300 in 2014/15, along with a 50% contribution towards the Public Works Loan Board repayments until December 2015. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Last year it was agreed that members continue funding for a further 12 months (2015/16) with a reduction of £14,860 (20%); and continue the 50% contribution to the Public Works Loans Board until it ends in December 2015. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

At this week’s Executive Board meeting members voted unanimously in favour of providing a 20% reduction funding for the next three years, totalling – £47,553 in 2016/17, £38,041 in 2017/18 and £30,433 in 2018/19 ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Lead Member for Place – Communities and Partnerships, Cllr Hugh Jones said: “It is important for us all to recognise The Stiwt. It is an iconic building and contribution to the Welsh Culture and language is regional and I believe its unique in north Wales ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“In recent years a number of things have been happening. There have been aggressively marketed activities and driven down costs of operating. Officers have worked closely with The Stiwt Trust is maximising income potential and support the work with Welsh arts and culture.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Last year the Rhos Estate Office was relocated into the Stiwt with rent at market value being paid from the Housing Revenue account. This agreement is due to expire in December 2015. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Options to increase footfall through the building and develop its ‘community central focus’ included moving the Rhos Library into the facility, with the idea initially mooted last year during a debate on the future of libraries across the county borough. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

However speaking at the Executive Board this week, Cllr Jones said that due to the Stiwt being a listed building and its internal limited structures would result in a ‘compromised’ library service. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Jones added: “We need to end the uncertainty, there has been some for staff at libraries, trustees of The Stiwt. They can move forward with three year programme.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

*Picture – Google Maps ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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