Plans for a new £3.2m centre in Bangor that will “give children young people equal access to the creative arts,” have taken an important step forward with the appointment of architects Manalo & White.
The old grade-II listed St Mary’s Church will be transformed into a new centre by theatre company Frân Wen.
Following a detailed and rigorous scoring process, the panel choosing the architect said Manalo & White had “visionary ideas” and would create a building “fit for the future that offers access and engagement for all.”
Brian Greathead, Director of Manalo & White said: “We’re honoured and thrilled to have the chance to create an important cultural building for North Wales.”
“We’re excited to work with Frân Wen who share our ambition to set a benchmark for creating an inclusive new environment for the community. St. Mary’s Church had served the city of Bangor for centuries, and the new facilities will breathe life back into the historic building.”
NEW LIFE TO OLD CHURCH
Frân Wen aim to bring a new lease of life to this important local heritage building and bring it back into use as a home for the company and a community asset which will contribute to the regeneration and cultural offer of the region.
The design and development stage has secured financial support from the Arts Council of Wales, Welsh Government’s Targeted Regeneration Investment Programme and the Architectural Heritage Fund.
Irfon Jones, independent chairman of the Frân Wen board, said: “This announcement is an exciting step forward in the plans for a centre for young people that will be home to Frân Wen. I am sure this outstanding design team will deliver plans for an exceptional new place for the enjoyment and understanding of the arts that is welcoming and open to all.”
Manalo & White is the architect for the award-winning Mandrake Hotel, Focal Point Gallery, Matt’s Gallery and Milton Keynes Arts Centre.
Frân Wen and the architects will now work with young people and the wider community before submitting a planning application in 2020.