Trust helped group take over historic Brynmawr cinema

THE COALFIELDS Regeneration Trust has won praise for its supporting role in helping a team of volunteers take over Brynmawr’s cinema.

The Trust made a £10,000 award to the Brynmawr Community Group who averted closure of the town’s iconic 350-seat Market Hall Cinema by negotiating a lease on the premises from Blaenau Gwent Council.

Now the volunteers, who have tripled the cinema’s income since taking it on six months ago, have persuaded Ralph Price who ran the cinema for 40 years for the local authority, to take on the role of manager.

Peter-Watkins Hughes of the Community Group said: “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, not just for their grant but for giving us really sound and practical advice.”

Sian Sykes, head of operations Wales for the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, said: “This is a wonderful project because it provides a real focus and a feel-good factor for the whole community.

“If the cinema had been allowed to close it would have knocked the heart out of the town. Instead the Market Hall Cinema is going from strength to strength, with hugely positive plans that include running a Film School of the Valleys which will give local enthusiasts hands-on opportunities to learn film making skills. That’s really important in an area where high levels of unemployment and economic inactivity are a major issue.”

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