THE £7million transformation of Swansea’s Albert Hall into a major live music and comedy venue should still go ahead despite the failure of the region’s bid to be City of Culture 2017.
Hull — an outsider according to the bookmakers — pipped Swansea Bay to the post when the winner of the contest was announced yesterday.
But organisers say they want to build on all the good things that have come out of the Welsh bid — and the refurbishment of the former music hall and cinema in the city centre is still on the cards.
However, it is not yet clear how many of the other events and projects which had been lined up for 2017 will now go ahead.
Nick Bradley, Swansea Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Although we’re disappointed, we will regroup and maintain the remarkable momentum that has been achieved this year.
“We may not have taken the prize, but I believe we’re firmly established as Wales’s city of culture and we can move forward with confidence for the future.”
Turning the Craddock Street building into an 800-capacity arts venue was the major capital programme in the unsuccessful bid.
Alongside that organisers had proposed an ambitious programme of events for 2017 including a spectacular floating theatre performance on the River Neath, a massed choral event in Parc y Scarlets written by Karl Jenkins, a major international Gower surfing festival, and comedy and music festivals — including the prestigious Womad festival.
Also being lined-up was a food and oyster festival, a Swansea Bay Expo highlighting the innovation and invention of the area from stained glass to the Bloodhound supersonic car, a new Horrible Histories Wales production, the Turner Arts Prize, a series of international conferences, and the world premiere of a new stage musical by Doctor Who writer, Russell T Davies.