BALA looks set to lose its cinema after Gwynedd Council announced it will close at the end of the month.

In 2016, Bala rejoiced after a protracted but passionate campaign from local action group Ffrindiau Neuadd Buddug saved the building from closure.

The group worked hard to source new film equipment, using grants from the Arts Council of Wales and their own fund-raising initiatives, to install new technology worth well over £50,000 to keep the hall open as an cinema/community venue.

However, despite making the building accessible for all and refurbishing elements of the 120-year-old building, Gwynedd Council has now announced it will abandon the building, leaving its future shrouded in uncertainty.

The closure of the hall will see five jobs lost and the potential absence of arts provision. The film equipment will now be relocated to Ysgol y Berwyn’s new superschool.

Nansi Thirsk, chair of Ffrindiau Neuadd Buddug, was appalled with the county council’s decision and the high fees they are now demanding from the community-run group for the new location.

“Neuadd Buddug will close at the end of December and staff have been issued with redundancy notices,” she told the Cambrian News.

“The projector and sound system will be moved to the new school in the first six weeks of the year.

“We will not be involved with the running of a cinema programme or any musical or drama events at the new school due to the financially prohibitive costs in the agreement proposed by the council.

“The future of the Neuadd Buddug building is uncertain as we have not been able to ascertain if the council will sell or at what price.”

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