North West Wales

Bangor's £45m Pontio arts centre cancelled until 2015

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionBangor University said it had been left with 'no choice' but to cancel the opening

The opening of a £45m arts centre at a Gwynedd university has been cancelled until 2015.

Bangor University's vice chancellor Prof John Hughes said he had taken the "difficult and painful" decision not to open Pontio this year because the building is not finished.

He said he had been left "no choice" but to postpone.

A spokesman for builders Miller blamed "a challenging schedule" for the delay.

"We sympathise with those who have experienced difficulties caused by the event cancellations and appreciate their disappointment," he added.

"We continue to work hard with the university to complete what has been a challenging build schedule and finish what will be a high quality facility for the students, staff and local community around Bangor."

People who had bought tickets for October's opening gala featuring the world-famous Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel will be refunded.

Image copyright Richard H Smith
Image caption Bryn Terfel has just announced he will join actress Emma Thompson for a revival of Sweeney Todd in London

"Following detailed discussions with the contractor I have taken the difficult and painful decision to postpone the artistic programme scheduled in the Pontio building until February," Prof Hughes said.

"I fully recognise everyone's disappointment at this further delay, but given the delays in the building schedule to date we have no other choice.

"The building was due to be completed in sections, with the first section to be ready by August 22nd, however we are still waiting for this work to be finished."

Work on the venue in Bangor city centre began in January 2013 and tickets to see Bryn Terfel sold out within 15 minutes.

The theatre at the arts centre has been named after the singer, who announced on Tuesday that he would be reuniting with Emma Thompson for Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd in London.

"As has been said before, there are lessons to be learnt from this but our priority is on working with the contractor, Miller, to complete the building and deliver a high quality artistic opening programme," Prof Hughes added.

"As building work develops, we will make further announcements."

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites