Plans for a £4.5 million renovation of the Muni Arts Centre in Pontypridd have been unveiled, with the venue set to reopen in June.
The centre has a troubled history and has closed twice since 2014. Its previous management company went bust in 2018 and it has remained closed for the past year.
Now, Awen Cultural Trust, the centre’s new lease holder, intends to open a venue that is “fit for purpose and meets the local community’s needs”.
Following a meeting with Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s cabinet members, the registered charity announced plans to refurbish the main hall and stage, with particular emphasis on the building’s listed gothic architecture.
The trust has confirmed that the building will retain its use as a theatre and community space.
In partnership with Purcell architecture firm, the trust has announced longer-term plans for the venue, including renovations to showcase historic aspects of the building.
This will include the installation of a downstairs main bar, emphasising the rose window – a prominent feature of the building.
Early designs show a gallery area above the main hall, with a rentable community space and a mezzanine bar.
Dressing rooms with direct access to the stage, in addition to toilet and storage facilities, have also been proposed.
Cultural services councillor Rhys Lewis said: “The plans presented by Awen show a bright and positive future for the artistic venue.
“The development will be sympathetic to the building’s history, and will bring to prominence more of the vital features which gave it a listed status – which are hidden from view at the moment.”
The trust, which took over the venue in June 2019, plans to open the arts centre in June 2020, following the completion of initial building works. The exact date is yet to be confirmed, and it is expected the full development will take three years.
The trust’s chief executive Richard Hughes said: “We are very much looking forward to working with the council, both in the short-term and in supporting our ambitious redevelopment plans in the longer-term.
“We recognise the significant community support for the Muni Arts Centre, and are confident that together we can once again cement the Muni’s place as a high-quality arts, culture and heritage venue,” he added.