Confusion and congestion at Penarth Pier Pavilion as a Pavilion wedding celebration coincides with a public brass band concert on the pavement immediately outside. More such clashes seem  likely as PACL seeks to expand the commercial use of the Pavilion for yet more weddings

The Vale of Glamorgan Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund  are now being asked whether it’s really appropriate that the Pavilion leaseholders (the struggling “charity” Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd a.k.a. PACL)  – should be allowed to make the hosting of weddings at the Pavilion its new primary activity .

The query has been raised by local resident Andrew Jones who is campaigning for the re-opening of the Pavilion’s 4-year-old £1,000,000 digital cinema which was closed in March.

The bride arrives for the very first  Penarth Pier Pavilion wedding – held in  May 2014 . Now there are plans to greatly increase the number of weddings held there

At first glance this looked like a conventional wedding complete with friends and family as bridesmaids – but this first gay wedding broke new ground for Penarth Pier Pavilion.

Originally Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd had seen Pavilion weddings as just a sideline – and had publicly undertaken to host no more than half a dozen of them every year.

That self-imposed limitation then prompted  Penarth Town Council to spend yet more council-tax payer’s money on developing the Council HQ at West House as a wedding venue – along with the Kymin [PDN Note: These “investments” have yet to pay off  for local council-tax payers who saw the Penarth precept segment of their council-tax rise to record levels last year ] .  

Penarth resident Andrew Jones initiated a petition to re-open the Pavilion Cinema which has attracted 2000 signatures

Mr Jones says the policy – announced last week – of developing Penarth Pier Pavilion primarily as “wedding venue” now puts the heavily-subsidised, publicly-funded Pavilion in direct competition with privately-owned commercial businesses and hotels – all of whom pay business rates and none of whom receive any of the public largesse bestowed on the Pier Pavilion.

Mr Jones asks why – if the Pier Pavilion is now to be used for commercial activities – does it need “such large capital and revenue funding to compete with privately funded local operators e.g. Holm House”. He says “From my understanding this is NOT what Lottery money should be used for”.

Mr Jones also is also asking the Vale Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund [which have both funded most of the £4,200,000 refurbishment costs of Penarth Pier Pavilion]  the following questions:-

  • Why PACL has not engaged with the local community over the decision to develop its commercial wedding-venue activitity?
  • Why Penarth residents have not received a full explanation from PACL as to why the Pavilion Cinema won’t re-open?
  • Why the new Volunteer Co-ordinator post –  just filled by PACL and understood to be  funded by the  latest Heritage Lottery Fund grant – wasn’t openly recruited and publicly advertised?

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  1. penarthblog says:

    Three very important questions, all of which need clear answers.

  2. Show some sense! says:

    Clearly income from the cinema doesn’t generate enough cash so what’s the problem if the extra cash means the pier building including the cinema can open again.

    • Matt says:

      Why do you think that an activity cannot be profitable because PACL cannot make it profitable?

      Using that logic you can safely say that no business in Penarth can be profitable because PACL cannot make a profit from any of its activities.

  3. andrewsketty says:

    we simply do not know if it is true that the cinema doesn’t generate enough cash. The cinema is just one income stream at the Pavilion and one cost centre. Clearly the cinema more than any other aspect has the ability to provide a consistent income stream. An operator with good business acumen will ensure that the customer who attends a screening will be encouraged to maximise their spend at the visit through food drink etc. That’s what any business with due acumen would achieve – not PACL of course who just keeping going back ‘cup in hand’ to shore up the sinking ship. So contrast with places like Chapter who provide a consistent good offer whether it film – bar – food and people will go there to see a film and have food before and a drink after. So here in Penarth we have the UK’s only cinema on a Pier yet these fools cannot capitalise on that and provide the offer to residents to make us want to visit. For goodness sake PACL do the honourable thing! Throw in the towel and let someone run the place as it should be

    • Cynical Jock! says:

      Could not agree more!! Enough is enough !! PACL have proved conclusively that they are incapable of operating the Pavilion efficiently at any level!

  4. Penarth realist says:

    Is the pier closed while the newly weds have their photos taken?

    • andrewsketty says:

      Yes…and the expect volunteers to be involved in providing the service to guests. Surely that is wrong on so many levels – do work for free for a commercial service and anti competitive..After all Holm House can’t request volunteers to help out at a wedding

      If you don’t believe take a look at the recent GVS newsletter who manage the newly appointed Volunteer Co- Ordinator. Amongst tasks listed that volunteers can get involved with are weddings and events – though NOT the cinema of course

  5. 92 and a social butterfly says:

    What about the parking for those attending the wedding and the vans that park up to drop off the buffet and so forth?

  6. Anne Greagsby says:

    Do you know who the new Volunteer Co-ordinator is? The job that wasn’t openly recruited and publicly advertised. It isnt on the website with the other staff that may or may or may not still work there.

  7. Peter Church says:

    Why do they need to close the pier to take photos, some people its all about me me me.
    BBC Closing streets willy nilly, to film the latest episode of Nurses with fake tans on Holby Horses.
    Penarth for Penarth people I say!

  8. snoggerdog says:

    they would have to compete with the coal exchange as well,(wedding venue)

  9. andrewsketty says:

    i loved this on the Old Penarth facebook site. Apparently Snowcat is showing some old films over Xmas including The Muppets Christmas Carol. Someone pointed out how apt that was…..maybe it will be a remake starring Hazell & his chums at PACL as the muppets

  10. andrewsketty says:

    The Independent Cinema Office supplied the fabulous monthly film programme at the Pier. They have just published their annual report. See what we are missing. Makes me so angry at PACL

Comments are closed.