A beloved Machynlleth music venue has only closed temporarily for refurbishment, a brewery has confirmed.

Concerns were raised locally when the doors of the Skinner's Arms were closed with no prior notice earlier this month.

The renovation work also came as a shock to at least some staff and town residents, with music gigs being cancelled last minute and staff staying they were suddenly out of pocket following the closure.

However owners Valiant Pub Company say the pub was scheduled for a “cosmetic facelift” with new furniture, a lick of paint, and a central heating system upgrade being installed. The long-missing pool table is also said to be returning, with the pub set to reopen in a fortnight.

Rob Greenwood, the Valiant area manager who covers the Arms, said: “Since we closed [on 12 March] I’ve been contacted by locals myself and heard of lots of weird and wonderful rumours about what’s supposedly happened- we’re definitely reopening.

“We’re doing minor refurbishment works and look forward to welcoming locals back in hopefully from 11 March.

“We’ve not terminated any staff contracts and staff will be able to continue working there if they’d like to, we are however recruiting for a new manager.

“We are in the process of working with the music promoter to relocate outstanding gigs.”

However several staff members didn’t know of the scheduled refurbishment works or that the pub would even reopen, including Ben Herbert, a barman at Skinners. He said: “So suddenly losing my main source of income has become a bit of a thorn in my side. “Skinners had become massive for local music- apart from the shows we also had a group come in on Mondays that would have a jam session essentially in the lounge area so it’s a shame to see it close.”

Alys Hardy, a Machynlleth musician who was booked to play at the pub on Penrallt Street this Friday 16 February, said as a result of the shock closure she struggled to find a new venue: “The Skinners was under new, eager management and was due to have several bands performing in the coming months.

“A few of us as musicians in the area had weekly jams, which were joyous occasions that bonded the community, with many more nights to come.

Alys Hardy was due to play at the  Skinners Arms this Friday 16 February
Alys Hardy was due to play at the Skinners Arms this Friday 16 February (Alys Hardy)

“I have struggled to find an alternative place for my gig this Friday, which shows the importance of it as a local venue!”

Alys was eventually able to rehome her gig to the Foresters Inn, Machynlleth.

A second gig with band Rituals scheduled for 29 February will also need rescheduling or relocating, with three more bands set to perform at the venue across March.

The venue had an injection of new life after new manager Zoeii, previously a bartender under long-term owners Steve and Jackie, who had run the pub for 12 years, took over the business in December 2023. Zoeii worked with music promoters Stitch Up Promotions to create a lively events calendar across the first few months of 2024.

Dyfi Valley residents had adopted the space to host Pro-Palestine fundraisers, karaoke nights, regular craft evenings and hosted significant planning meetings including for the creation of the first-ever Machynlleth LGBTQ+ Pride.

The new community-led Dyfi Radio also hosted its launch event at the Arms on 2 February to “huge success”. Luke Ryan Herbert, Operations Manager at Radio Dyfi said: “It's a real injustice. Now a ton of planned gigs are essentially without any space to perform.”

Zoeii chose not to comment.