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Theatr Ardudwy


Prominently placed within view of Harlech Castle but on a narrow, steeply sloping site, so that the entrance, dressing rooms, bars and auditorium are stacked up on several levels. Brutalist ribbed concrete upper storey, boldly curved to road front and with set-back roof storey above; glazed below. The exterior curve expresses the form of the auditorium, which has a broad sweep of steeply raked seating focused on an open stage with small curved thrust and token proscenium frame. The outer quarters of the fan of seats have rather strained sightlines. Stage has limited suspension facilities (hemp and winch sets). The theatre was listed by virtue of its physical relationship and interconnection with the layout of Coleg Harlech in 2001. A state-of-the-art digital cinema and conferencing facility opened in 2016 and a brand new house lights system installed. In 2018 the theatre was closed due to safety concerns and deteriorating conditions in the facilities and the building. The college site has since been plagued by ownership issues. It was bought by local businessman Leslie Banks in April 2019 but put back on the market in the October of the same year. An auction in autumn 2020 then saw the site split into separate lots, the historical parts of the site – including the theatre – being kept as one lot. This was felt to be to the detriment of the historic buildings which, if the site had been kept in one ownership, may have been able to benefit from enabling development elsewhere on the site to help fund necessary repair works.
In June 2021 the theatre and associated listed buildings on the site were sold to a private owner, which has indicated an ambition to reopen both theatre and college buildings for the local community. There are still challenges to be overcome regarding the condition of the building and substantial funding required for necessary repair work however it is hoped that the new ownership is the start of a positive new future for Theatr Ardudwy.

Built / Converted
Dates of use
  • 1973 : continuing
Current state
Current use
Dark (currently at risk)
Coleg Harlech Arts Centre, Harlech, Gwynedd, LL46 2PU, Wales
Further details
Other names
Theatr Harlech
  • Owner/Management: Coleg Harlech
  • 1973 Use: continuing
  • 1973 Design/Construction:
    Colwyn Foulkes & Partners
    - Architect
  • 2021 Owner/Management: Owner: Private Owner
  • Capacity
  • Capacity
  • Listing
Stage type
Flat; open with centre thrust and token proscenium with adjustable header
Building dimensions: -
Stage dimensions: Depth: 6.4m plus 3.5m apron
Proscenium width: 13.1m
Height to grid: No grid; limited suspension at 6m above stage
Inside proscenium: -
Orchestra pit: None