A THEATRE in Blaenau Gwent is to be run by a cultural trust, securing the future of the facility.

Blaenau Gwent council has agreed an alternative service delivery arrangement for The Metropole in Abertillery which will see it run by the Awen Cultural Trust, a charitable organisation which aims to enhance cultural opportunities.

It is planning “a bright future” for the theatre after Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, which will include professional and community events and keeping the performing arts alive in the area.

The theatre is currently managed by the Aneurin Leisure Trust, and staff members will be retained to oversee the day-to-day operations, hire and community engagement.


Blaenau Gwent council’s executive committee approved the alternative delivery option at a meeting on Wednesday.

Richard Hughes, chief executive of Awen Cultural Trust, said the organisation is delighted to be working in partnership with Blaenau Gwent council to secure “a vibrant future for The Met”.

“As we look towards a brighter year ahead, when we hope theatres and performance spaces can safely reopen, we look forward to working with the staff at The Met, to further develop its excellent programme of professional events, which have been so well supported by those living in the local area over the years,” he said.

“We also look forward to getting to know the local choirs, drama societies, musicians, dance schools and other groups who contribute so much to the cultural life and heritage of Abertillery, so they too can continue to be part of The Met’s ongoing programme of community events.

“There is a genuine sense of excitement at Awen at bringing a new team, who share our values and commitment to arts and culture into our organisation, and together we will be working towards a seamless transition over the next few months.

“On a personal note, having worked in Abertillery and The Met itself for many years, it’s wonderful to be able to do so again and work alongside this great community.”

Cllr Joanne Collins, executive member for education with responsibility for managing the relationship with the Aneurin Leisure Trust, said the council is “committed to the continuation of leisure services and art and cultural opportunities here in Blaenau Gwent”.

“It’s exciting that by working in partnership and agreeing this way forward with Awen Cultural Trust we are able to retain this important facility for Abertillery and surrounding areas,” she said.

Phill Sykes, operations director of Aneurin Leisure Trust said it is “a great development for The Met”.

“Our staff are really looking forward to continuing their excellent work of bringing exciting cultural events to the community across Blaenau Gwent,” he said.