Theatr Clwyd to leave local council control

Writer:

Paul Genty

7 Jan 2021

Welsh theatre newly-announced as The Stage's Regional Theatre of the Year

Theatr Clwyd is to leave Flintshire Council control to be run by an independent trust after 44 years.

The move is part of a wider change at the county council and according to the theatre will put it on a par with the majority of the major UK producing theatres, most of which are also run by charitable trusts.

The change comes on April 1 and is expected to give the theatre more control of long-term planning and funding, though the county council will continue to provide the funds.

But before that the theatre will be working in the glow of an award-winning year. Theatr Clwyd has been named The Stage's Regional Theatre of the Year in the theatrical newspaper's 2021 awards.

The award came for the theatre's extensive community engagement work in a year that saw theatres nationally cancelling their shows and turning to the internet and local community to keep working.

"Theatr Clwyd Together is the name of a lively, far-reaching and much appreciated audience-engagement programme that, since the theatre shut, has been connecting the venue with audiences and providing them with weekly activities including writing stories, directing plays and choreographing dances, all from their own homes," the Stage commented.

Since March the company has worked with local agencies, including social services, to distribute food parcels and provide support and services, including becoming a hub for vulnerable children and families and the children of key workers. 

It has developed and delivered creative packs and has continued to offer workshop projects, including those for people with dementia and Parkinson’s, as well as for its local refugee community. 

Theatr Clwyd has also recently adopted the council-run Flintshire Music Service, protecting the future of youth music in the community and securing work for teachers and artists.

Other activities have included becoming a blood donation centre and supporting freelances with small bursaries.

"In 2020, Theatr Clwyd has been more than a theatre: it has been a beacon, one that won the hearts and trust of the many communities it serves," said the judges.