FUNDING to help safeguard the future of the Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre in Newport and save some of the jobs which are at risk has been secured.

Newport Live, which runs the venue, has been awarded  £126,770 from the Arts Council of Wales to cover the period until March of next year.

Steve Ward, chief executive of Newport Live, said the funding will help to protect jobs, after 33 staff at the theatre were placed at risk of redundancy.


“We are extremely grateful to the Arts Council of Wales for this funding which has helped us to secure the future of The Riverfront and jobs for some of our team,” Mr Ward said.

“We are waiting for the Welsh Government to confirm when the theatre can be re-opened to the public and are working with our partners on alternative approaches for use of the building by Newport Live and other organisations.

“In the meantime, we are seeking to introduce other creative and digital ways to support customers and local artists, to deliver artistic activity and to support wellbeing whilst we are unable to welcome people into the building.”

The money has been awarded as part of a fund of £27.5 million to help arts organisations across Wales survive the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

It will be used to facilitate the delivery of artistic activity for people in Newport, working with and supporting other artists in South Wales.

The Riverfront will also be working with the education sector to deliver a creative programme that engages with children and adult learners across the city.

The theatre and arts centre plans to develop new work to support people’s wellbeing.

An additional £50,000 of funding has been awarded for the theatre to develop the foyer into a Covid-safe performance space with an updated catering offer.

While performances in the main auditorium at the theatre are cancelled up to the end of March, it is hoped The Riverfront will be able to reopen soon for classes, workshops, digital productions and as a welcoming space to meet and enjoy a coffee, before being able to bring shows and performances back to the venue.