Planning application submitted for major redevelopment of the Muni Arts Centre
Anthony Lewis, local democracy reporter
A planning application has been submitted by the council for the redevelopment of the Muni Arts Centre in Pontypridd with the aim to start work this summer.
Along with a listed building consent application, the plans include the conservation and repair of the building, including refurbishment of the auditorium, remodelling of the entrance foyer, bar and mezzanine, installation of new passenger lifts, toilets, dressing rooms, changing places and improvements to back of house areas.
The council said that the project will deliver a venue that offers a professional programme of live music and event cinema, with bar facilities to support the local leisure and night-time economy.
The final developed design elements for the Grade II listed buildings have been completed by Purcell, in partnership with Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Awen Cultural Trust.
Once recommendations are approved, the project will move to the next stage and if it gets all the necessary consents, redevelopment of the venue will begin this summer.
The project, which has received £5.3m secured from the first round of UK Government’s Levelling Up programme, aims to protect the Muni’s heritage and celebrate its stunning gothic architecture by exposing the original ceiling beams in the main hall and many of the windows which are currently blocked.
The council said that the refurbished Muni will be fully accessible and inclusive, with a lift to all floors including the balcony, and better toilet provision including a changing places facility.
Councillor Bob Harris, cabinet member for public health and communities at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “Work continues to progress on the Muni redevelopment, and it is positive to see the project moving ever closer to the ‘boots on the ground’ phase that many residents are excited to see happen.
“We are committed to delivering the Muni redevelopment with our partners Awen Cultural Trust in a responsible and sustainable way. The redevelopment will see the Muni brought back to life as a premier music and event destination in South Wales for the enjoyment of residents and visitors.
“Completion is on track for summer 2024, just in time for Rhondda Cynon Taf to welcome the National Eisteddfod of Wales, which attracts around 150,000 visitors each year. We can’t wait to see the thousands of people visiting Rhondda Cynon Taf enjoy the new venue.”
Richard Hughes, chief executive of Awen Cultural Trust, said: “This redevelopment represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to restore the Muni as one of South Wales’ best music and event venues. As with all projects of this scale, there is so much that goes into the design work before work begins on site.
“It’s great to have the opportunity of using everything we’ve learnt from the community to help support the process and come up with a design that meets our vision while at the same time working within the funding available to us.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.