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Funding helps Hafren to "break even" for now

Created on 21/10/2020 @ 07:14
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The future of Newtown's Hafren entertainment venue has been secured for now.

The theatre and events centre at NPTC Group college site has secured funding from Arts Council Wales.

The venue said the funding, alongside financial aid through the government's furlough scheme, has secured jobs and helped the venue to break even following the coronavirus situation.

The theatre has been a venue for the Covid-19 testing station in recent months.

"The amount of £178,893 has been granted to help with the employer contribution in to the Furlough Scheme made by the NPTC Group during the recent lockdown and subsequent restrictions imposed.

"The money covered the purchase of new equipment to enable additional cleaning and for premises and maintenance costs," said a statement.

Theatre Manager Sara Clutton said "This is great news, secures jobs and brings the Theatre to a financial breakeven while remaining COVID-Secure."

The Hafren Theatre in Newtown, Powys is one of the Welsh Cultural establishments which will receive a Welsh Government Cultural Recovery grant.  Administered by the Arts Council Wales.

The money has covered the purchase of new equipment to enable additional cleaning and for premises and maintenance costs.

Welsh Government has instructed that Live indoor performances cannot take place, possibly until April 2021. 

"This has left theatres such as Hafren, who only present live shows, with no income for over a year," said a statement.

"As Hafren trades over 80% of its income from ticket sales, sales of refreshments and conference rentals, this pandemic has left them the most vulnerable, as there are still bills to be paid, maintenance to be undertaken and compliance procedures to be carried out.

"Hafren is a financially viable service which has required very little from the public purse to support it up until now and is currently offering its spaces to the Powys Teaching Health Board as a base for their Community Nursing team who undertake Covid-19 testing and the Mobile Covid-19 Testing Unit at no charge."

The statement added: "Further talks with the Powys Teaching Health Board, for potential usage, are ongoing.  Hafren is also large enough to accommodate the Welsh Blood Service for Covid-19 Secure Donor sessions, as this provision remains vital to our health service."
Theatre Manager Sara Clutton said: "We will be looking to offer work to be undertaken in the theatre to local contractors, bringing much needed work to Mid Wales."
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