A COUNCILLOR has accused Denbighshire County Council of putting Prestatyn’s Scala Cinema and Arts Centre at risk.
Prestatyn Town councillor Sherry Edwards claims a planned 25 per cent cut in the Scala’s funding is a “huge worry” which could have serious repercussions just as the business grows and expands.
She said: “The Scala struggled from the outset because they opened with no running costs and there were serious problems with the building which should never have been signed off.
“Despite all obstacles, including a severe and late spring, a new traffic management scheme which affected all High Street traders, then a glorious summer which meant that people were reluctant to spend any time indoors, the Scala has achieved an increase in sales this autumn and is growing its business by working more closely with the local community and branching out into education.”
Cllr Edwards added: “The Scala is key to Prestatyn’s regeneration and every report on seaside regeneration speaks about the important part that the arts can play in attracting tourism.
“Prestatyn is well-placed to take advantage of this, so how ironic that at this very moment the Scala’s future as an arts centre and cinema should be under threat.”
Rhiannon Wyn Hughes, chair of Scala Prestatyn Company Limited Board, said she had been told of the £12,000 funding cut, as part of the authority’s budget proposal, by local councillors.
She added the proposed changes were at a time when work on diversifying the business including developing its film education provision was showing dividends.
Cllr Paul Penlington, recently appointed Prestatyn Town Champion, who will work with the board of directors, manager of the Scala and Prestatyn Town Council, said:
“There are other funding options available to the Scala which are currently being considered by town champions from across the county.
“I will be arguing strongly that the residents of Prestatyn deserve to see the Scala build on it's previous success and remain a nationally renowned arts centre for many years ahead.”
For more details on the future of the Scala, see next week’s Journal.