Closure threat to Brynmawr cinema sparks protest
3:30pm Friday 15th February 2013 in News
HUNDREDS of angry Brynmawr residents are expected to attend a protest against the closure of the Market Hall Cinema tomorrow.
More than 750 people have signed an online petition protesting the closure and a further 1,680 people have joined a Facebook group calling for the cinema to be saved.
The cinema and Nantyglo Leisure Centre are both at risk of closure to help address Blaenau Gwent Council’s £3.9 millionbudget deficit.
The double closure could save the council around £300,000.
Both Brynmawr and Nantyglo and Blaina Town Councils have announced they plan to fight the proposals.
Brynmawr town councillor Ian Morgan, said: “We are rapidly becoming a suburb of EbbwVale.
“We want to keep the cinema and if we have to run it ourselves, then so be it.
“If they close the cinema that’s it, Brynmawr will have nothing.
“There’s nothing here as it is.
“People say there will be a new venue at the Works site in Ebbw Vale, but a lot of people won’t be able to afford the higher prices.”
Leader of the council Hedley McCarthy and deputy leader Cllr Stephen Thomas said yesterday they are already in talks with Brynmawr Town Council and private investors about the possibility of taking over the cinema.
Cllr Thomas said: “We are cutting a lot of crucial services, and if you look at the wider remit it’s impossible for us to sustain the cinema because we are protecting education and social services. We are not in a position to upgrade the cinema as it needs, unfortunately.
“We are facing a whole host of contentious issues and we hope to mitigate these as much as possible.
“But unfortunately we cannot deny there are going to be difficult decisions made.
“We are in talks with a private individual and also in ongoing talks with Brynmawr Town Council.”
The protest starts at 10am tomorrow outside the cinema in Market Square, Brynmawr.
The council will make a decision on March 6.