The ground-breaking Pontio development will receive £27.5 million to establish a world-class centre for innovation in science, technology and the creative industries.
Led by Bangor University, Pontio is backed with £12.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund and £15 million from the Welsh Assembly Government. Further funding from the Arts Council of Wales and the University itself will complete the package.
The Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones will announce the funding at an event in Llandudno to showcase the impact EU funding is having in Wales.
Mr Jones said,
“Pontio will offer a platform for arts and innovation that will benefit the whole community in the north west of Wales, making a significant contribution to the renaissance of Bangor and sustainable economic development beyond the building phase. “Economic Renewal: A new direction’ demonstrates our determination to invest in capital projects that will bring long-term structural and economic benefits to Wales.
“EU funding is proving a great asset at this time, providing the resources to support our policy, helping us face up to current economic challenges and preparing for future opportunities.”
The £37 million centre will include a theatre with a capacity of up to 550 seats, cinema space, a studio theatre and an outdoor amphitheatre. It will be accompanied by exciting new social facilities including bars, dining and park areas.
The project will also include a dynamic innovation hub, with facilities for interdisciplinary design, enabling greater engagement with SMEs to drive the development of new products, processes and services. It is being designed to achieve the BREEAM “excellent” classification, demonstrating a commitment to environmental sustainability.
The centre will bring together the teaching of the arts and sciences and will also provide cutting-edge teaching and learning facilities that will benefit the local community, businesses and University students.
Professor Fergus Lowe, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Bangor University, who is leading the project said,
“This is great news for Bangor as well as for the whole of Wales and beyond. Pontio will become a hub for the local community, bringing people and businesses together to promote investment and regeneration in North Wales. It will capitalise on local skills and expertise to create and safeguard hundreds of jobs and business opportunities which will all promote economic growth in the region.
“Pontio will be a world-class centre for innovation in science, technology and the creative industries, and will be a cultural beacon for Wales and a champion of the Welsh language. It will include a dynamic Innovation Hub, cutting-edge teaching and learning facilities and a range of indoor and outdoor performance spaces including a theatre and cinema space, an outdoor amphitheatre, cafés, restaurants and parkland where people can meet, learn and be entertained.”
The centre is due to open in early 2013.