Yesterday, Powys County Council’s Board decided to close Theatr Powys and make it’s eight staff redundant. I do not blame Powys County Council, faced with the earlier withdrawal of funding for Theatr Powys by the Arts Council for Wales, the members of the Board had no real choice. It was clear that the county council could not bear the entire cost of funding Theatr Powys. Nor do we have any commercial businesses willing to step in and cough up any sort of contribution for the arts.
This is yet another example of the Welsh Assembly Government deciding, through their ‘arms-length’ agents, that projects in Powys and in Mid Wales in general can be sacrificed as long as the projects in South Wales and the Valleys are preserved. The closure of Theatr Powys follows on from the Aberystwyth Film Festival being ‘acquired’ by Cardiff and it won’t be long before ‘Brecon’ Jazz and the ‘Hay’ Festival of Literature will both find themselves re-located to the M4 corridor. Both these events have been fighting off the Cardiff grasp for years.
When are the movers and shakers of Mid Wales going to get their act together and resist the destruction of all that’s good and worthwhile in rural Wales?