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Friday, 13 October, 2000, 18:21 GMT 19:21 UK
Arts centre rescue package rejected
Centre for Visual Arts
The centre has failed to attract sufficient visitors
The Arts Council for Wales has turned down a rescue package for the troubled Centre for Visual Arts in Cardiff.

The decision means that the 9m centre - which attracted barely a quarter of the 300,000 visitors expected in its first year - is now expected to close on November 5.

Frances Medley
Arts Council acting chief executive Frances Medley

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

The recommendations had been put forward by an independent assessor but the Arts Council said while it was supportive, it did not have the extra money available.

"It was not a matter that were didn't want to give them any more," said Frances Medley, acting chief executive of the Arts Council of Wales.

"The council considered resources available and the money simply isn't there."

When asked if the council could have done more to help the ailing project, Ms Medley said: "It's not over yet. We are still committed to making sure that the project can work in any way that we can possible help.

Exhibition item
The centre is now expected to close next month

"We want to work with stakeholders to try and find a way forward."

The centre had set a target for 200,000 visitors a year, but to date it has only attracted 30,000.

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

The CVA was launched in September last year after a successful multi-million pound refurbishment of the Old Library, in the city centre.

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

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See also:

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03 Jul 00 | Wales
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15 Feb 00 | Wales
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25 Aug 00 | Wales
Arts centre reprieve hope
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