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Flagship £45m Bangor theatre cancels launch show after fresh building delay

An artist's impression of Pontio.
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The opening of a £45 million arts centre in Bangor has been delayed for a second time, resulting in the complete cancellation of the venue’s planned opening production, Chwalfa.

Pontio, which will be part of Bangor University, was originally set 
to open in September with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s new play.

Last month, the opening was pushed back to February, after it became apparent that construction would not be finished in time.

Now, the university has confirmed that its revised timetable is also unlikely to be met. The university’s vice chancellor, John Hughes, 
said: “I have taken the difficult and painful decision to cancel Chwalfa, although we are continuing to work closely with the Theatr Genedlaethol to bring high-quality Welsh drama 
to Pontio in the future.”

Arwel Gruffydd, artistic director of Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, said: “It is a disappointment to me and the company that we will not be able to stage Chwalfa in the new year.”

“This comes after months of preparatory work, and many of us – artists, professional theatre workers, members of the community – have worked tirelessly to create this exceptional production,” he added. Gruffydd said the company was looking for an alternative venue in which to stage the production in 2015.

Plans for Pontio include a 450-seat theatre – Theatr Bryn Terfel – as well as a 200-seat cinema, studio 
theatre, learning facilities and 
lecture hall. Bangor University’s 
student union and a restaurant will also be incorporated.

Hughes said the university was working with Miller, the contractor, to establish a new timetable for opening.

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