New £16m theatre opens in south-west Wales

Ffwrnes Theatre auditorium
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A £16 million theatre has opened in south-west Wales, which is said to be the first purpose-built venue in the region.

The Ffwrnes theatre in the town centre of Llanelli comprises a main auditorium which seats up to around 500 people as well as a smaller studio theatre that can seat a maximum of 100 people.

Carwyn Matera-Rogers, who is theatre manager at Ffwrnes, said that the venue is also looking to create a technical training academy for young people by joining forces with local higher and further education institutions.

He said that the theatre has been funded through money from the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund, the Welsh Assembly Government and Carmarthenshire County Council – which owns and runs the venue through Carmarthenshire Theatres.

Ffwrnes theatre, which will programme a mixture of professional and amateur shows, is part of a larger £60 million development in Llanelli’s town centre which includes a new cinema and restaurants.

Matera-Rogers said: “This is the first purpose-built theatre in Carmarthenshire. We [Carmarthenshire Theatres] manage three theatres in the area and up until now they were all converted cinemas.

“It is a great boost for a town that had a lot of pride in the past and has experienced industrial decline.”