Daily Post: We won’t be shutting the Scala say Denbighshire council

COUNCIL bosses have denied they are planning to shut a £3.5m arts centre as speculation mounts over its future.

Residents of Prestatyn staged a demonstration on Tuesday as the Scala Centre’s board met to discuss savings.

They fear Denbighshire County Council is prepared to ditch the arts centre, which received an £86,000 bail-out in May.

The original Scala cinema opened in 1913 and closed in 2000 but following a vigorous local campaign it reopened in February, 2009, as a state-of-the-art cinema and arts centre.

Wales’s first all-digital cinema, it is able to screen live stage performances from the National Theatre, Royal Opera House and New York Met.

Only last week at the Guildhall in London the Scala was awarded the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’ international award for community benefit, beating other schemes from Australia, Malawi, Algiers and Scotland.

Simon Pott, chairman of the judging panel, said:

“This is an extraordinary example of how the passion of local residents can help drive a project through to completion.”

“After a nine-year struggle, the local community of Prestatyn is finally able to enjoy the superb facilities of this engaging cinema and arts centre.”

Sandra Pitt, chairman of Friends of the Scala, said:

“The Friends of the Scala and the people of Prestatyn have worked tirelessly for the last 10 years and the result has been the creation of this brilliant new building,” she said.

Over the first six months of this year attendances were up 13% over the same period last year.

“Yet there are real fears that all this is going to be thrown away,” she said.

The Scala, she added, was an entertainment centre not only for Prestatyn but for the whole of North Wales and visitors to the area.

“The Welsh are a cultured people who have always appreciated the arts, and we do not want Prestatyn to become yet another dull town with no cultural facilities,” she added.

County Council leader Hugh Evans said he was very concerned about the “rumours and misinformation” circulating in the area.

“The council is one of the Scala’s key funding partners and the authority is investing a lot of time and effort in helping the Scala to develop as a key centre for the culture, arts and community in the Prestatyn area,” he said.

“The council sees the Scala as a very important facility for both the people of Prestatyn and the county as a whole. We will continue to provide advice and assistance to the Scala, working with the Board to move the business forward.”

Cllr Rhiannon Hughes, chairman of the Scala management board, said:

“We will not be looking at stopping any of the events which the public have enjoyed since the Scala opened.”

Source: Daily Post News Article

 

BBC: Scala in Prestatyn Agrees to make 40K savings

Scala in Prestatyn agrees to make £40k savings

A cinema and arts centre in Denbighshire that reopened less than two years ago is pledging to cut £40,000 in costs this financial year. The Scala in Prestatyn was given a £3.5m facelift when it opened its doors again after closing in 2000. The board of the venue stressed there was no threat to the future of the centre. It follows an £86,000 rescue package agreed for the Scala in May by Denbighshire council. The board of the Scala Cinema and Arts Centre, Rhiannon Hughes, said savings would be made in areas such as energy costs and bringing other services “in-house”.

‘Difficult period’

She said the number of people using the venue was increasing, up 13% on the same period last year.

“We’ve only been open 18 months so we’ve learnt what sort of films the public want – we know what people are wanting from the venue,” said Mrs Hughes, who is also a member of Denbighshire council, and its former leader.

She said that the venue had been through a “very, very difficult period”. The Scala board said that a decision to delay a neighbouring retail development by 18 months had a knock-on effect on the centre, and that initial costs of setting up the venue had “not been factored in” to the original business plan. Mrs Hughes said the centre now hoped to increase turnover, alongside more live performances and more use of the venue’s conference facilities.

Source: BBC News Website

DCC: DCC issue statement about Scala Rumours

Denbighshire County Council has issued a statement, refuting rumours and mis-information circulating in Prestatyn regarding the future of the Scala Cinema and Arts Centre.

Rumours circulating say that the Scala is to close. This information is inaccurate and misleading as there are no plans to close the Scala.

Leader of Denbighshire, Councillor Hugh Evans, said: ‘We are extremely concerned that these rumours are circulating as they are not true.

The Council is one of the Scala’s key funding partners and the authority is investing a lot of time and effort in helping the Scala to develop as a key centre for the culture, arts and community in the Prestatyn area.

The Council sees the Scala as a very important facility for both the people of Prestatyn and the county as a whole. We will continue to provide advice and assistance to the Scala, working the Board move the business forward.

The Board meeting on Tuesday evening will be looking at savings but will continue to develop the Community activities which have been proving so popular in the last few weeks. We will not be looking at stopping any of the events which the public have enjoyed since the Scala opened.

The Scala has only this last week won an International award for its Community links and we intend to continue to work with the County Council, the Town Council and the Community in developing the Venue”.

Source: Denbighshire County Council Press Release

RICS: Community benefit Award winning Scala Cinema and Arts Centre

Community benefit Award winning Scala Cinema and Arts Centre, Prestatyn

Scala Cinema originally opened in 1913, but was forced to close in December 2000 due to neglect and the high cost of much needed repairs. However, following a lengthy campaign by the local community the site was restored and re-opened as a new, state of the art cinema and arts centre in 2009; revitalising Prestatyn and the surrounding area in the process.

The site now offers a 150 seat, multi use auditorium, suited not only to showcasing the latest cinematic releases, but also providing an excellent venue for the performing arts, dance and exercise classes, fairs and markets. The community also has access to the centres new social and training facilities, exhibition spaces and meeting rooms.

The new Scala comprises a modern extention, set back behind a small scale, early 20th century high street frontage, which has been restored and adapted to the buildings new use.

Designed with economy of operation in mind to ensure its future sustainability, the project entails the reuse of part of an existing building, which had been vacant for a number of years, and aims to support the vitality and viability of the town centre. A new glass canopy forms a contemporary counterpoint to the Victorian façade, while a high level of visibility is afforded by a large glazed screen between the street and the entrance foyer, making the building welcoming and accessible to all visitors.

This is an extraordinary example of how the passion of local residents can help drive a project through to completion. After a nine year struggle, the local community of Prestatyn is finally able to enjoy the superb facilities of this engaging cinema and arts centre.

Simon Pott, Chairman of the Judging Panel

Source: RICS Website, The mark of property professionalism worldwide.