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Grimshaw arts complex hit with new delays

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Bangor University has pushed back the opening of its Grimshaw Architects’ designed Pontio arts complex - again

The north Wales college said ‘delays in the building schedule’ for the £25million centre meant it was now forced to cancel a production scheduled for February next year because work was unlikely to be completed in time.

The five-level complex, which includes a main theatre, studio theatre, cinema, a bar, and a restaurant, had originally been scheduled to open in spring 2013.

Three weeks ago university vice-chancellor John G Hughes said the Pontio would not be able to stage any of the events it had scheduled for 2014 following ‘detailed discussions’ with contractor Miller, and postponed its artistic programme until the New Year.

This week, Prof Hughes said it had become clear that the building would still not be complete by the start of a scheduled February run of Welsh-language drama Chwalfa.

‘We are now going through a detailed process of review with the contractor, Miller, to establish a revised timetable for opening,’ he said.

‘Our priority is on working to complete the building and deliver a high quality artistic opening programme.’

A university spokeswoman added that there had been ‘a number of missed deadlines in terms of completing construction work’.

‘We were due to take possession of the first part of the building on 22 August, [but] we are still to take possession of that or any other part of the building,’ she said.

A spokesman for Grimshaw Architects declined to comment on what was described as a ‘contractor issue’.


Previous story (AJ 19.01.2011)

Grimshaw’s Welsh arts centre starts on site

Construction has begun on Grimshaw’s £25 million Pontio project - a new arts and innovation centre at Bangor University in Wales.

Featuring a 450-seat theatre, a rehearsal studio, teaching rooms, a cinema and an outdoor amphitheatre, the Pontio building is designed to serve students, local businesses and the community.

The project will be built on the gradient between Bangor’s raised city centre and the lower College Park area. Other facilities on site include a student union, bars, cafés and a restaurant.

Designed by a team which included Grimshaw, Atkins, Arup and Gillespies, the project won planning permission in July last year and is expected to open in Spring 2013.

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