Ammanford Miners’ Theatre may face the final curtain

First published in News

A LEADING light at Ammanford’s Miners’ Theatre believes thevenueis being pushed to the brink of closure by the very organisation charged with promoting it.

Carmarthenshire Theatres – which oversees the Miners’, Carmarthen’s Lyric and the new Y Ffwrnes in Llanelli – has failed to schedule a single event in Ammanford during its spring programme from January to March.

Peter Pemberton, chairman of the Miners’ Theatre trustees, said the venue has received “a raw deal” from the Carmarthenshire county council-run organisation since coming under its banner in 2006.

Mr Pemberton also believes proposals to hand responsibility for the theatre to its trustees will spell the end of the 80-year-old venue.

“We were told that the Miners’, as the smaller of the three theatres, would be developed as a centre of excellence because of its superb acoustics,” said Mr Pemberton.

“We were promised outstanding soloist and small groupperformancesacross a full spectrum of music. That never happened.

“The events Carmarthenshire Theatres have arranged have been completely unsuitable to the point where some have had to be cancelled due to lack of interest.

“Last summer, only one event was held at the Miners’. Over Christmas our pantomimes were not promoted.

“The Miners’ and the people of Ammanford are being let down.”

Carmarthenshire Theatres latest proposals are seen as the final straw.

“They want to cut the Miners’ loose,” said Mr Pemberton.

“There is no way volunteers can run a full theatre programme, including booking artists, dealing with contracts, financing, and everything else when this is done by ateamof full-time staff for Carmarthen and Llanelli.

“It will lead to the closure of the Miners’ Theatre.”

Carmarthenshire county council’s head of leisure Ian Jones said: “The Miners’ Theatre is an integral part of the Carmarthenshire Theatres/Theatrau Sir Gar portfolio.

“We are keen to see the venue growanddevelop,and we want to work with trustees to improve facilities at this fantastic venue.

“The authority is in the process of forwarding a discussion paper to the trust andwill be arranging a meeting within them.”

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