Work has started on plans to revitalise Pontardawe Arts Centre after a second set of approvals were granted by Neath Port Talbot Council earlier in this year. The plans to extend the popular Pontardawe Arts Centre, including the addition of a new cinema were fully signed off in January of 2024.

They will see the the upgrading of facilities at the building which is said to be of "architectural and cultural significance to the area," with a new 70-seat cinema, alongside improvements to the café and bar, as well as a redesigned ticket office area, and various other cosmetic enhancements.

The site is well known as a cultural hub in the Swansea Valley, with its traditional theatre that hosts a range of events such as classical music, stand-up comedy, celebrity talks, dance and drama - with the centre remaining open throughout construction.

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Images of how the popular Pontardawe Arts Centre could once completed in the coming months as new cinema is added Credit: Neath Port Talbot Council
There will also be improvements made to the café and bar

It will be completed with funds from Neath Port Talbot Council's capital programme along with a £600,000 grant from The Arts Council of Wales and a further £250,000 from Welsh Government. A council spokesperson said: "This upgrade not only aims to elevate the centre's facilities but will also enable it to screen the latest Hollywood blockbusters, something it was previously unable to do."

The council’s cabinet member for nature, tourism and wellbeing, Cen Phillips, said: "The council recognises the positive impact of this project on local valleys communities, offering enhanced recreational and cultural facilities. Furthermore, the revised staffing structure for the expanded arts centre is expected to create jobs."

Dafydd Rhys is the chief executive for the Arts Council of Wales and added: "Arts Council of Wales is delighted to support this development in partnership with Neath Port Talbot Council. Our mission is to make it possible for the arts to be present in the lives of everyone in Wales, and the extension to the current Pontardawe Arts Centre will have a unique design and help to ensure future sustainability of this important community asset." For the latest Neath Port Talbot news sign up to our newsletter here.