Unconfirmed rumours have reached PDN that Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd (PACL) – the beleaguered “not-for-profit” company/charity which holds a 125-year-lease on Penarth Pier Pavilion – is preparing to re-open the building on a 7-days-a-week basis next month.
It’s also rumoured that arrangements are also being made to staff the integral Pavilion Cinema – even though PACL had earlier claimed that its operation was not financially viable.
If the rumours are right, they amount to a complete 180-degree U-Turn by PACL who – only in February this year – announced the Pavilion Cinema would close indefinitely and close the Pavilion itself on 3 days out of every 7 as from March 6th 2017.
As of next month it appears there will be a total of 7 permanent staff at the Pavilion including a “cinema manager” and a “cinema and general events officer” – implying the cinema will be re-opened, although it’s not yet clear whether replacement arrangements have yet been made for the hire of movies for public exhibition.
The recent payment of a further £126,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund is for – amongst other things – the engagement of extra staff [ See PDN http://tinyurl.com/ybhngeyd%5D . Augmenting the 7 permanent or part-time staff are about 15 “volunteers”.
The new – Conservative-controlled – Vale of Glamorgan Council was so concerned about the closure of Penarth’s “jewel-in-the-crown” that its leader, Cllr John Thomas, following discussions with Cardiff South and Penarth Conservative candidate Bill Rees, had ordered a review of the terms of the Pavilion lease [ as reported by PDN on June 5 2017 see http://tinyurl.com/y9x3h36p ].
PDN‘s wholly accurate report of the implementation of a review was derived from unimpeachable sources but met with a “non-denial, denial” from PACL who said on its website “We have not had any communication from the Council regarding such a review” . [ PDN Note: There would be no reason for the Vale Council to discuss such a review with PACL because, as the lessors, the Vale of Glamorgan Council already has all the necessary documentation on file in the council’s archives] .