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Sally Medlyn, CVA Director
"The closure is not of our choosing, of course"
 real 56k

Monday, 6 November, 2000, 09:29 GMT
Troubled arts centre closes
Centre for Visual Arts
The centre has been open just 14 months
The Centre for the Visual Arts in Cardiff shuts its doors to the public on Sunday - just 14 months after it opened.

The CVA, in Cardiff's Old Library building in The Hayes, was meant to provide a showcase in Wales for modern art.

But it has consistently failed to attract enough visitors to make it a viable proposition.

The centre cost 9m to set up and opened in September last year.

Trustees were predicting that 300,000 visitors would arrive in its first twelve months.

Redundancies

But within weeks it became clear that this estimate was hopelessly over-optimistic.

The first redundancies at the CVA were made in February.

Just months after opening, the centre cut four of its 22 core posts in February this year.

With attendances only a quarter of what they hoped, the trustees decided in August that the centre had to close.

Last month hopes of a last minute reprieve were dashed -- when the Arts Council of Wales rejected a rescue package.

It included further cuts in staff numbers, closing an exhibition early, and matching Arts Council cash with money from private investors.

It is believed that potential visitors may have been put off in part by the cost of admission to the centre.

But despite its short troubled history the CVA has goneout with a bang, staging the fifth British Art Show direct from London.

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