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Pontypridd’s Muni Arts Centre to close

The Muni Arts Centre in Pontypridd is to close as part of council budget cuts aimed at saving £70 million over the next four years.

The arts centre, a converted church in the town’s centre, hosts theatre productions, live comedy, concerts and exhibitions but confirmed its closure as part of a move which will see £400,000 cut to the council’s arts budget.

Its closure comes despite an Arts Council of Wales report last year that described the area’s theatres as “playing a critical regional role” in South Wales and which praised the fact that “they are contributing to the development of the arts in the area”.

The Muni is one of three theatres in the area, the other two of which – the Coliseum and Park and Dare – will remain open.

In a report issued by Rhondda Cynon Taf County Council, the Muni ranked the lowest out of the region’s three theatres when considering factors that impact the decision.

The report states that the theatre fails to have a “strong and visible sense of community ownership”, despite an online petition to save it attracting over 3,500 signatures as well as support from celebrities such as comedian Rhod Gilbert.

He said that “the sense of community there is special” and that “creativity is alive and well”.

Councillor Paul Cannon said: “There is no easy solution in these tough financial circumstances. Our funding has been dramatically reduced by the Government in London, and this will mean that difficult and unfortunately unpopular decisions were necessary and will be required in the future.”