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    15 June, 2005

    Parc and Dare

    Sadly it has become clear that the ambitious plans to extend the Parc and Dare Theatre in Treorchy were not properly developed by the previous Plaid Cymru council in Rhondda Cynon taff. They failed to allocate sufficient provision in the Council's capital budgets, and failed also to find sufficient external sources of capital funding. This has come to light as the Labour Council elected last year has gone through the budgeting in detail. I have had detailed conversations with the Council about this. I am concerned about it, because the Arts Council for Wales had put money aside for the development, which may now have to be used in other ways. I raised the matter with the Minister yesterday in Culture questions. I know that the Council is looking at other ways to take improvements to the Parc and Dare forward. Over the page you can find the exchange I had with the Minister yesterday.

    Leighton Andrews:

    Do you agree that one excellent example of community engagement is the Welsh National Opera scheme that works with schoolchildren on performances, one of which I will attend in the Park and Dare Theatre on Thursday? Are you aware, Minister, that there are now some funding difficulties with the extension of the Park and Dare Theatre as a result of the previous Plaid Cymru-controlled Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council failing to make real allocations in its budgets? Would you be willing to meet the leader or other cabinet members of Rhondda Cynon Taf council to look at the scheme?

    Alun Pugh:

    I would certainly be willing to discuss with you and the Rhondda Cynon Taf political leaders the issues around the Park and Dare Theatre. It is a much-loved building in Treorchy, and, as a son of the Rhondda, I am familiar with it. As far as Welsh National Opera and outreach work is concerned, I know that they are hugely appreciated by the many thousands of young people who are involved in the activity. I saw one of the performances in Rhyl not so long ago, but, unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the one in Treorchy.

    Rhondda TV
    The Labour Party

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