Cllr Phillip Rapier (Labour St Augustines) is launching a move wrest back control of the Penarth Pier Pavilion from the cash-strapped "charity" Penarth Arts & Crafts Ltd

Cllr Philip Rapier (Labour St Augustines) is launching a move to wrest back control of the Penarth Pier Pavilion from the cash-strapped “charity” Penarth Arts & Crafts Ltd

Today – on “Day One” of the new reduced opening schedule at Penarth Pier Pavilion – Penarth councillor Philip Rapier has launched a public campaign to restore Penarth Pier Pavilion to the people of Penarth.

As the result of a cash crisis at Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd – [ the not-for-profit company/charity which holds a 125 year lease on the Pavilion]  the number of days the Pavilion is now open has been slashed – as from today – by three days a week. [see PDN Item http://tinyurl.com/j3gzz32%5D

That means that the Pier Pavilion – renovated and refurbished in 2013 with £4,200,000 of public money –  is now closed every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday until further notice . The Pier Pavilion’s 3-year-old 70-seat digital Cinema has been totally closed – despite public petition launched last week which garnered 1,300 protest signatures.[ see earlier PDN item http://tinyurl.com/j3gzz32 ]

Cllr Philip Rapier (Labour ,St Augustines)

Cllr Philip Rapier (Labour ,St Augustines)

Today however – in a dramatic new initiative, former Penarth Mayor Councillor Philip Rapier (Labour St Augustines) has launched a campaign to  restore  the care and control of the Pier Pavilion to the rightful owners the People of Penarth by means of the new WAG statute the ” Historic Environment Wales Act 2016″

Cllr Rapier says “I have been staggered and overwhelmed at the powerful representations I have received personally from residents all over Penarth in the last week”.

Cllr Rapier is holding “an informal open public meeting” of a new body he calls PRPC (Penarth Residents’ Pier Campaign)  on Monday March 20th to which everyone in Penarth is invited  at 19:30 at the  Pilot Pub Restaurant.

Disappointed customers turned away today when they found the doors of Penarth Pier Pavilion were locked and the lights were out

Walking away. Disappointed customers leaving the Pier Pavilion today after finding the doors locked and the lights out. The Pavilion was once said to be Penarth’s  “Jewel in the Crown”

Cllr Rapier says the meeting will discuss the recent accounts for Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd and the formation of a ” Shadow Board of Trustees” with “the aim and realistically deliverable objective of restoring care and control of the Pier Pavilion to the rightful owners the People of Penarth by means of the new WAG statute the ” Historic Environment Wales Act 2016″.

It is hoped that Penarth residents who are barristers, solicitors and accountants will come forward to assist with the formation of the new group. Cllr Rapier says “The presence of a volunteer Barrister, Solicitor or Legal Executive ideally with experience of the Charitable Sector in especially Arts, and Museums would be most welcome” – and invites people to contact him directly .

Cllr Rapier’s email address is  Philip.rapier@hotmail.co.uk and his phone number is 029 20709232 [ as detailed on the Penarth Town Council website] 

Cllr Rapier’s public meeting – open to all – is at the Pilot Pub Restaurant at 19.30 on  Monday 20th March 2017.


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  1. Jeff says:

    Bravo. I can’t believe the cinema has TOTALLY closed. Utter ****ing madness after all that money spent. What a shocking shambles the management of this place has been.
    Yes, let’s get it back ‘to the people of Penarth’ but what does “by means of the new WAG statute the Historic Environment Wales Act 2016″ mean?

    • Philip Rapier says:

      Many thanks to the Management of The Pilot who have generously agreed to be the Venue for the Penarth Residents Pier Campaign Meeting on Monday 20th March at 7.30pm. All Welcome
      The Pilot Pub Restaurant is on Queen’s Rd, Penarth CF64 1DJ Tel 029 2071 0615

  2. Keith Stevens says:

    Well Done to Cllr Philip Rapier – someone thinking and talking for the people of Penarth for a change – POWER to the PEOPLE – Lol
    Good Luck

    • Holden says:

      Well, such is your rousing rhetoric, I hope you’ll be attending the meeting as one of ‘the people of Penarth’. 🙂

    • Ann Other says:

      I presume you are being ironical? What Mr Rapier proposes is surely exactly the worst thing to do? Why should the risks and costs of a failing enterprise be borne by local tax payers? Why would we want the pier run by yet another group of semi-detached, well-meaning and inexperienced art lovers and volunteers? An effective and imaginative local business needs to take the place over as soon as possible with the aim of creating a socially useful profit-making enterprise. Otherwise, it’s your money that’ll continue to be tipped into the sea until a point of failure is reached yet again and we end up with nothing.

  3. Big Davey says:

    The council did such a great job last time round.

    That is why it fell into disrepair in the first place!

  4. ColaniXL says:

    A little bit of creative thinking could see the cinema more heavily utilised. What about private hire? Childrens’ parties for a sing-a-long Trolls or Frozen screening or a hen party screening of Footloose or a private screening of the latest blockbuster for a company’s staff as a rewarding night out, use your imagination and it would bring in block booking-sized revenue during downtime slots.

  5. LizG says:

    I knew that the Pier Pavilion was closed today, so I went to Nicola’s shop on the pier, and had a lovely cup of coffee. I went to the tables and benches outside the Pavilion to drink it there. Three people were there as well, eating their picnic. It was quite cosy. I suggested to a man who had tried the front door and found it locked, to go to Nicola because she does a very nice coffee. I bumped into him in the library later, and he thanked me for the suggestion. What I can’t understand is, that nobody had the foresight or the decency to put a notice on the door, saying “closed.” That’s the very least they could have done. Instead, people pulled on the doors, looked at their watches, pulled again, and looked confused.

  6. Tony Harris says:

    The whole shebang needs to be professionally managed and marketed by experts but I support this initiative. The problem is that the pavilion is too small to be a commercial success and parking is always going to be an issue. Let’s see what we can do on the 20th.

    • Jon says:

      Yes, it is true that the trustees have made a hash of managing the pavilion, however I don’t agree that the size of the operation equals failure. A properly managed food offering would generate the revenues required to support the pavilion

  7. Peter Church says:

    I’m afraid Phil “the rambling post” Rapier heart might be in the right place but he doesn’t have the organisational skills to organise this. Let Chapter Arts take control and turn the open space into a bar/restaurant/arts space.
    Sorry Phil, I know you mean well….but

    • Daft o dull says:

      Chapter Arts is a charity run on handouts not a proper operation that can stand on its own two feet as required in this situation.

  8. cllr clive williams MBE says:

    Well done Phillip, this is a very sensible idea. I remember “THE VALE” proposing to sell the
    Pier Pavillion, and being outraged, saying this is one of the Jewells in the Vales Crowm .What a history this building holds, it deserves better managemen and vision in the future,
    I took the late Stan Stennett to see the Vale leader to discuss future uses, and being turned down on all sujestions. To give a 125 year lease to an organization that has already run into choppy waters is bad management. You have my total support Phil, and if I can help in any way, you have my contact number. Where are all the people who can really assist Phil?
    Now is your chance to stand up and be counted

  9. Martha says:

    The Pier cinema/café etc could be a blistering success. Think of the summer months for the caff and the winter for the cinema. It must not be allowed to wither. Please everyone, let’s not just spout on here, let’s see what we can do. It would be a wonderful thing if we pulled together, and all got on, and brought the Pier back to life and commercial success.

    • Ann Other says:

      Not necessarily. Both could well make a loss even if full to bursting all the time. They are both small. It is very likely that even at full speed they would not be a going concern. The thing needs radical reformulation not another outbreak of incapacitating business ignorance and hippyish do-goodery.

  10. Richard says:

    FFS, where did all the money go??? Huge sums have been swallowed up on this enterprise and yet nobody seems answerable or accountable for explaining where it went. I must say, people seem very philosophical and cavalier about the failure of this, not least when it was given so much cash. Who was paid what to oversee this shambles? Why is everyone being so nice about it? That beautiful building and cinema closed down. It’s a ****ing disgrace.
    What is the matter with people? There ought to be an inquiry, no placid acceptance of the thing going down the pan. I hope everyone pulls their finger out and pitches up at the Pilot. Questions need to be asked.
    Also, if anyone who can run a good caff is reading this, can you come to the meeting too please?

  11. Mark says:

    This situation appears completely unacceptable. As far as I can see nobody is coming forward from PACL to explain the situation with a view to securing future. Why is that? Why the silence? You’d think people involved in the running of the thing would be keen to embrace support from the community. What is happening? Why is nobody answerable on this? It seems very strange and negative??

  12. Jonny says:

    Forget the lost city of Atlantis, King Arthur, Stonehenge or the bog bodies of Northern Europe. The world’s biggest mystery is WHO IS PROFESSOR HAZELL? Where is he and why have we heard nothing from him?

  13. Simon says:

    Is ‘Professor Hazell’ attending the meeting at the Pilot? I do hope so. I feel it would remove any misconception that PACL is headed by a faceless figurehead who doesn’t care a damn what happens. Though I haven’t heard “Professor Hazell” speak on this matter, I imagine – being at the helm of the board and therefore 100 per cent committed to keeping the Pier building afloat – he must be chomping at the bit to harness the fantastic support the Pier is receiving from the community. Looking forward to hearing what he has to say at the meeting. Though I wouldn’t want to put words in his mouth – it will be nice to hear his thoughts – I imagine he is thrilled by the determination to secure the future of our fabulous, and unique, pier.

  14. Tom says:

    I wondered if anyone can help…I’m trying to find out a little more about Professor Hazell, chairman of Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd. Can anyone tell me if he is the same Professor Hazell as the one mentioned in the following report from Nursing in Practice (21 March 2012) headlined ‘NMC Chair Resigns Following “Challenging” Months’? Thanks.
    “The Chair of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has resigned from his post after an “extremely challenging” few months.
    Professor Tony Hazell, who joined the regulator in 2009 as the first publicly appointed NMC chair, will step down from his role at the end of March. 
He said he was “committed” to providing continuity of leadership and support through a “difficult phase” for the NMC, but felt “the time is now right” to move on.”

    • Timothy Jones says:

      It appears to be the same person? My wife and I are hoping the meeting will explain who singled the Prof out for the job, his credentials, how long he has the post for etc. In a similar situation some years ago – which we came across in another part of the UK – the chap resigned but it appears Hazell is in for the duration? Or not? Who knows? I agree with one of the other contributors who suggested it would be nice to hear from him. Also, how much he’s being paid to close the place down three days a week? It’s not being unreasonable to ask these questions, surely, when such VAST sums of public money have been spent and we’re left with an empty business?
      I do hope Penarth hasn’t gone quiet because there’s a number of toffee-nosed types as trustees. It certainly looks that way in some quarters.Councillor Rapier appears to be one of the few sticking his neck out to return the Pier building to the town and give it a successful future. I feel we all need to give him our support. See you at the Pilot!

  15. Dr Ceinwen Sawyer says:

    WELL DONE but the venue of the Pilot Pub might not be big enough to accommodate the numbers of people who will be interested in this?

  16. Mgg says:

    The pier pavillion would be big enough for the meeting . oh!

  17. Anne Greagsby says:

    Yet again the labour led town council has let us down.They take responsibility for nothing, even with 20 staff they don’t know what’s happening in Penarth until its too late. They have a secret group wasting our money on concrete benches for our conservation areas, they can’t get a handle on the turner gallery, they want to demolish St Paul’s and they didn’t see this coming? The labour party are too busy with Barry to heed what is going on under their noses in Penarth. So useless, its not likely they can save the pier unfortunately.

    • Phil says:

      What are you on about, Anne?

    • Monty says:

      Ms Greagsby, is it credible that you are a candidate for election, yet have no apparent understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the two local councils representing Penarth?

  18. Peter Legg says:

    The Pier needs to be open 7 days and 7 nights a week and Run Properly, it is pathetic closing it for 3 days and the cinema indefinitely

    • Timothy Jones says:

      It’s far worse than pathetic, Peter. It’s nothing short of a disgrace.

  19. George says:

    I must say I’m VERY curious about why none of our publicly-elected representatives – aside from Cllr Rapier – are taking the bull by the horns on this. At the very least I would expect a call for an inquiry into the running of the Pier building – didn’t one poster whose moniker was ‘A Book Keeper’ publish less than complimentary excerpts from an accountant’s summary of PACL’s financial performance? Nobody appears to be looking at where these ENORMOUS SUMS OF PUBLIC MONEY have gone in the running of an outfit which is now CLOSED THREE DAYS A WEEK. We need hope and communication, ideas and hard work to preserve the future of this fantastic asset, And yet we’ve got photographs of people peering through the windows with the whole thing closed down. It’s unnerving to hear no questions being asked. Where is Professor Tony Hazell? He seems to have gone to ground? Or has he resigned?

  20. Anna says:

    I know others have asked the question but how is it an acceptable state of affairs that the head of PACL is nowhere to be found in such a dire situation? is it always the case that people are appointed to such roles and remain immune to communication or scrutiny? I don’t think it’s right or fair.

    • William says:

      I’m not saying it’s the situation here but I have come across medics who think they’re above contact with “ordinary people”. You still get some consultants, even now, believing they are of a higher order than the Great Almighty, and silly, grovelling people – cowed by such affectation – allow them to get away with it. Obviously, it’s helpful if the leader of a publicly-funded organisation presents an approachable face to the community it’s paid to represent. Who knows? At this very moment, “the Professor” may be toiling on the Pier’s behalf to fulfil his handsome pay packet.

  21. Freddie says:

    Am I the only one wondering why Prof Tony Hazell hasn’t resigned yet?

  22. Tim says:

    I’m worried about the future of the pier. Penarth’s a funny town. People kowtow to money and status and those who live in smart roads. They don’t like to ask questions or challenge such ‘pillars of the community’ – it’s seen as being ‘rough’ and ‘out of hand’. I don’t see the Pier surviving. I fear the town is too afflicted by snobbery, social climbing and a skewed sense of what is important in life. Just saying.

    • Daniel says:

      Speak for yourself, Tim. I – and several others I know who are attending the meeting at the Pilot – come from families of stuck-up consultants and the like, and that sort of thing doesn’t frighten us. See you on the 20th!

  23. Chris David says:

    You can go to Companies House online to see the latest published accounts. Out of date but still revealing. What we need now is the latest signed off accounts and management accounts YTD. Sod the secrecy of Burnet and the VOG. The 2015 accounts show 23 directors / mangers – some well known and experienced!. Balance sheet looks healthy, £157,000 in staff salaries. It needs a whole new business plan and management. But is PTC capable? Remember this is the body that cancelled the record fair at the 11th hour instead of professionally managing the situation. Councils, councillors and the employees of such rarely have the skills to manage a commercial (albeit social) enterprise. But if Mr Rapier can facilitate a situation where Penarth can put in pro mangers and just take responsibility for monitoring, (against plans and targets) reporting and ownership- great.

    • Simon says:

      Arrr….now we’re getting somewhere, everyone protecting each other.
      “The 2015 accounts show 23 directors / mangers – some well known and experienced!” you say? People taking money for the place to go down the pan and now nobody will stand up and be accountable.
      To think people have go at the Mafia.
      That poor pier doesn’t stand a chance.

    • Ben says:

      A cast of characters quick to take the money but slow to accept responsibility for the situation in which we now find ourselves.

      • MP11 says:

        But I wonder if any of them saw what was happening but didn’t feel they could do anything? You never know, perhaps there were one or two, or more, who didn’t feel they could speak up.

    • Will says:

      23 directors and managers? A right bunch of takers! Come on, someone must have seen what was happening. Break ranks – even if it’s off the record – and give the pier a chance.

    • Jimbo says:

      Well, well, well…what interesting reading. I see what you mean about “some well known and experienced” among the “23 directors/managers”. Companies House website may well crash when people see this little line-up. Fancy that – I’m definitely going to the meeting.

  24. Jonathan says:

    Quite frankly, I’m beginning to think this town deserves everything it doesn’t get. Dominated by a bunch of aloof – often mediocre – wannabes who feel superior to the rest. How can these people take this money and then keep schtum? It’s run like a Banana Republic. Absolutely terrible, what a joke.

  25. Chris David says:

    For the record I’m not suggesting the 23 Directors / trustees/ managers are all earning from this (wouldn’t amount to much each). That I very much doubt. But at the end of the day in order there is complete transparency we need to see the accounts. The signed and the management accounts. Its our money. How much is left and what’s the plan?

  26. Chris David says:

    I would love to Martha however I’m In France for a few months. But I am happy and willing to help from here if there is anything I can do. If anyone is keeping minutes (that are agreed on) then if I think I have anything to offer from the outcomes I will volunteer. But there is a conundrum. I know some of the names on the list of directors / trustees etc. published. Some are very competent people- so what’s going wrong? This meeting needs to have some sort of official representation and some of the “directors” need to attend if it is to be successful. Just having a few councillors there will be futile. The meeting needs to tease out why its come to this given the people involved. The meeting needs to have power. Who’s heading up this meeting and is there an agenda we can all see? There should be an opportunity to set advance questions, and the hoped for outcomes should be clear in advance. If it becomes nothing more than a shouting match little will be achieved. Someone mentioned Chapter (good thinking). Does anyone have any contact with senior management there they could discuss this problem with in advance and get some advice?

  27. 92 and a social butterfly says:

    Chapter was built on blood sweat and tears by people who had a dream, they built it and the people did come, those people in their turn kept and keep it going by rolling their sleeves up and getting on with it, come rain or shine the show must go on.

  28. Chris David says:

    The accounts for Chapter; company number 01005570 can be found at Companies House online. Has a balance sheet of c £3.2 mil. The accounts are quite complex as it has two divisions- group and charity. Trades at a surplus. Multiple income streams. The income and where it comes from can be seen. No directors are paid over £60k (good start) The audit is signed off with no qualifications (2016). It appears professionally run and I would feel that if willing they could offer good advice. So- has anyone here good contacts there? Are there any accountants here that could undertake a forensic in preparation for the meeting? And possible a business plan in the future!

  29. 92 and a social butterfly says:

    I once heard that a Chapter annex was considered on the Cogan Tesco site, is that true?

    • Jamie says:

      Didn’t they go to Barry instead? Talk of it having more of a chance of success or something?

    • Sally says:

      I do hope you’re coming to the meeting at the Pilot, 92, you sound such a good laugh. 🙂

  30. andrewsketty says:

    I have just posted the following update on my petition webpage:-

    Many of you will be horrified to learn that PACL’s accounts submitted last year to the Charity Commission show that a mere SIXTY POUNDS was spent on marketing and publicity for the Pavilion ( this compares with £4427 the previous year)

    This really is shocking given the many comments on here critical of the lack of promotion of film screenings. 3 years on there are people in Penarth who do not even know there’s a cinema in the Pavilion. Now we know why!!

    Of course our cinema has been well used as we know but imagine how much more successful it would be with proper marketing?

    PACL do not appear to have got even the basics right. What other cinema do you know of which does not even say CINEMA outside…..nor have any film posters and screening times outside???

    Yes they produced a rather nice monthly brochure but not widely available apart from in the Pavilion itself. You had more chance of picking up the Chapter brochure around town!! A disgrace in my opinion.

    Then there’s the woeful use of social media and its own contact database to keep is informed!

    I am reliably informed that the Heritage Lottery Fund and Vale of Glamorgan Council are holding talks with PACL about a way forward. Let us hope they will see that the current situation is down to the way our cinema has been managed currently and NOT a lack of patronage and support which we know is absolutely not true

    • Tim says:

      Oh no, I don’t like the sound of PACL “holding talks”. They’re not trying to cling on to it, are they, after the mess they’ve made of things? That would take some nerve but I wouldn’t rule it out, based on their “performance” to date. That’s all we need is a sudden second wind from them that fizzles out the moment they’ve seen off anyone hoping to get involved and keep the Pier building alive.
      I agree with everything you say, Andrewsketty, and also with Chris David. To me, we need to get a look at the management accounts and meeting details. let’s see what’s been said and spent? We need an idea of what was discussed to see if any “problems” were identified – some reason must have been given for the outfit’s parlous performance?
      In my opinion, PACL has demonstrated it is not fit for purpose and I am staggered if they continue to think they are but “we” need to show a bit of planning and business backbone. I second Chris David’s request to PDN to ask if they would consider publishing more details (presumably as this is public money that is acceptable?) and a pre-meeting plan.

  31. Chris David says:

    With respect Mr Sketty – I’ve signed and promoted your petition, someone(s) needs to get a grip on this. As you point out the marketing is just one small facet of the problem. The planned meeting needs an agenda and a discussion plan. Why is the meeting taking place? What does the meeting want to achieve? You’ll just end up with a shouting shop if things are not organised properly. The pier facility could be much more than jus a naf caff and a cinema. What’s happened? Where’s the money gone? What’s left? Lets see the management accounts and meeting minutes. Will PDN (and other mediums) support “you” in publishing a pre report (history) an agenda and a discussion plan?

    • andrewsketty says:

      Chris with respect and as you probably already know next Monday’s meeting has been arranged by Philip Rapier which is the headline story in this thread. The planning of this meeting is nothing to do with me whatsoever. I am planning to attend as an interested member of the publuc just like everyone else.

      When I started the petition I did so as a regular attendee of the cinema who did not want it to close. I had no idea that hust over a week later 1500 people would feel the same. That tells us something.

      Since then I have been very happy to kerp promoting the issue as like you I am concerned that if we are not careful we will lose our cinema or it will become a shadow of its former self.

      Its closire is not a result of poor support and I am happy to promote this petition to everyone that can determine its destiny just in case PACL say its closure as because it is not viable. Not true

      • Jamie says:

        Well said, andrewsketty, I know a good load of people who are looking forward to this meeting, including me. Thank you for starting the petition which, as you say, shows the desire for the cinema to remain open and become a greater success.

      • Chris David says:

        Yes Andrew I was not suggesting you’re responsible and I applaud your efforts. I’m just making a few pertinent points. Is Mr Rapier listening here? Does he have a plan and an agenda? I’ll email him.

  32. Chris David says:

    Have mailed Mr Rapier- offered my help IF I’m deemed to have anything to offer. I’m sure thought their will be those with vison and experience attending if this post is anything to go by. I await a reply from Mr Rapier and have suggested he asks PDN to publish an agenda here – today! I can’t make meeting- overseas but looking forward to the feedback. There must be an agenda and there must be outcomes that include a public backed delegation and agreement to produce a business plan. Is anyone in direct “power attending ? What about Prof Hazel and relevant VoG councillors? What about Stephen Doughty? I’ll mail him as well.

  33. Chris David says:

    FYI PDN readers- sent by email 8:46 hrs 10/03/2017

    Dear Mr Doughty

    I don’t know how closely you follow local affairs but you may be aware there is a crisis regarding PACL’s (and the VoG’s) management of the Cinema and complex- Penarth.

    There is a meeting in the Pilot public House Penarth on Monday arranged by local councillor Philip Rapier. Will you be attending?

    Thank you in anticipation of a prompt response.

    Kind regards

    Christopher David

    CC Philip Rapier.
    Copy PDN

    • Jonny says:

      I, for one, appreciate your efforts, Mr David – thank you – but do you think it’s gone rather quiet? I’ve heard mention of PACL “being in talks” which sounds a worry. I fear the whole thing will be papered over and the Pier building left to rot (again). I wonder if Stephen Doughty will be too busy attending to trans-Atlantic issues to deal with something as a minor as a situation of great concern to his constituents. I do hope not.

      • Chris David says:

        Hello Johnny- we as of 12:05 UK time I’ve received no reply from either party (oh except for an out office for MP Doughty) I doubt Mr Doughty will be interested but Mr Rapier is running short of time if he’s to publish an agenda (and assuming PDN will post it?) Could you do that PDN?
        In an ideal world the meeting could open with a very brief highlight of the accounts. A very brief history of what’s gone on. A discussion on where the meeting sees this going. And if all that goes well the appointment of a small delegation of say three experienced individuals who could demand a presence at the PACL / VoG meeting with an outline plan to present for joint discussion. If that in-turn went well a joint detailed plan could be formalised at a later date. It would be nice if we had interested councillors and PACL members present. Didn’t someone say L Burnett has expressed an interest? Again it would also be nice if Chapter could be consulted. I have no idea if Mr Rapier is addressing any of this. Has anyone else got suggestions for an agenda? The meeting must not be put off by parties stating confidentiality and protocol in order to render the meeting impotent.

  34. Chris David says:

    I have received this reply from Mr Doughty. You may recall Mr Doughty was shadow Minster for Business so he should be in a position to discuss a business plan and have an understanding of accounting forecasts, marketing strategies et al. Sorry its in caps but the options are limited.

    Dear Mr David

    I am well aware of the concerns about the recent changes to opening hours of the Pier Pavilion / cinema and the challenges faced by PACL.

    I have had a number of helpful and constructive discussions with both the Vale Council and PACL directly – including a meeting this morning, and have offered my help where it would be useful, to ensure recent challenges are addressed. SO A MEETING HAS TAKEN PLACE TODAY ALTHOUGH IT IS NOT CLEAR WHO ATTENDED THE MEETING ALONG WITH SD. WAS IT VoG and PACL? NO MENTION OF THE OUTCOMES.

    I can confirm that the Pavilion was open and busy today, and I understand that the closure of the cinema for regular public screenings is a temporary measure, while future plans are developed, and that it continues to be used and booked for other events. “FUTURE PLANS ARE TO BE DEVELOPED” – SO THIS CAN BE ADDRESSED ON MONDAY. The PIER COMPLEX LENDS ITSELF TO MUCH MORE THAT JUST A CAFE AND CINEMA. THIS IS IN PART WHERE CHAPTER MAY BE ABLE TO ADVISE.

    I naturally want to ensure this key local resource and jewel of Penarth’s heritage remains open and accessible for as many local people and organisations as possible, with as many activities as are possible. YES INDEED- “AS MANY ACTIVITIES”. MORE THAN A CINEMA AND CAFE.

    I know that PACL will welcome all offers of support and time to ensure that the current challenges are addressed. MR DOUGHTY INFORMS US ALL OFFERS OF SUPPORT ARE WELCOME. THAT’S A GOOD START FOR MONDAY- IT IS A GOOD IDEA THAT THIS IS NOTED AT THE PILOT MEETING.

    I am unable to attend the meeting on Monday, as I am required for key votes in Parliament, but I am happy to meet with any residents who wish to discuss concerns about the Pavilion – and would encourage them to contact me at this address. MR DOUGHTY ENCOURAGES DIALOGUE. SO LETS TAKE HIM UP ON THAT.

    Yours sincerely

    CD note- I will thank Mr doughty copying in Mr Rapier in order he is aware of this dialogue and this note can be addressed with him (P Rapier) Monday.

  35. andrewsketty says:

    PACL has finally bowed to pressure in the community opposed to the closure of the Penarth Pier Pavilion Cinema and issued a statement on the homepage of its website http://www.penarthpavilion.co.uk/news.

    But please don’t hold your breath…

    The statement is still woefully inadequate and really tells us nothing new apart from revealing further serious concerns about PACL’s management of the Pavilion.

    They are now saying that ‘the last 3 years have shown quite clearly that with limited capacity of the 68 seat cinema the income from ticket sales will never be enough to cover the costs of running the cinema. As a charity we cannot continue to provide facilities that are uneconomical as is the case with the cinema.’

    How totally ridiculous and embarrassing!

    1) As PACL say the cinema is only 3 years old and paid for through grant funding principally through the Heritage Lottery Fund. Surely with millions of pounds at stake PACL would have had to supply detailed feasibility and business plans to HLF and others so if a cinema was not viable it would never have been funded?

    2) Last year’s accounts show PACL spent £60 on marketing the Pavilion INCLUDING the cinema. Local people say they still don’t know there’s a cinema there – which is hardly surprising as it is probably the only cinema in the country that doesn’t advertise it shows films outside! And that’s just for starters

    3) If you do a google search on ‘ how to set up an independent cinema’ you will get a fools guide to marketing etc. PACL’s publicity and marketing is woefully inadequate – as borne out by the £60 spend!

    4) The guidance then goes on to say that you can supplement the tickets sales income with advertising ( on screen, brochures etc), sales of snacks and confectionery, food and drink. PACL’s record on its catering offer is well documented

    5) Unless someone can correct me the major cost of operating the cinema is the film distribution costs and this is set as an agreed % of ticket sales. So if PACL’s finances are in a poor state why cut off a regular income source?

    Sorry but this explanation is really poor. If PACL cannot or won’t operate the cinema then why not hand it over to an organisation that can?That way we can all resume watching films in our lovely unique cinema on the Pier. There needs to be real meaningful open dialogue with the people of Penarth over the future of this wonderful facility

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