Testing the water

Bangor’s Pontio arts centre starts to open in October

Bangor University’s new Arts and Innovation Centre, Pontio, will begin to open its doors in October with tours of the building and a series of taster events which will allow visitors to experience the new facility.

This period of ‘phased opening’ will be a time to trial a range of different event formats and technical configurations, before a programme for the building rolls out from December.

Professor Jerry Hunter of Bangor University said: “From October there will be a number of taster events ranging from guided tours, artistic performances, innovation events, and sampling of the catering that’s available as well as some academic teaching that will occur during the Autumn Semester.

‘The tours and the taster events will be a great opportunity for people to come and have a look around this very exciting and unique facility.  Tours, which will be free of charge will be running from October onwards, and will be available to book from mid-September via the Pontio website or by phoning the Box Office.”

“This is a large building with many different facilities, performance spaces and technologies. Having a gradual, phased opening allows staff time to familiarise themselves with operational matters before we fully open. The Students’ Union is planning to move from their existing facility to Pontio in time for the second semester.’

Elen ap Robert, Artistic Director of Pontio added: “During the preview period in October and November, we will be gradually trialling small scale shows, artistic events and screenings in the flexible mid-scale Theatre, the more intimate Studio Theatre and the Cinema. We will be making a series of announcements over the summer outlining these ‘soft’ event. It really promises to be an exciting time for us, our audiences and artists as we all start to explore and experience what our new and extraordinary centre has to offer. 

‘Our first season of events will run from December 2015 to April 2016, and we look forward to announcing the full programme in October.”

Arloesi Pontio Innovation (API) will bring state-of-the-art facilities and ways of doing business for individuals and businesses alike. They will also host a series of trialling events during the preview period. There will be an opportunity to try out the FabLab, part of an international network founded by MIT, which will be equipped to a level that will make it one of the foremost ‘maker spaces’ in the UK and provide the ability to prototype almost anything.  

Professor Oliver Turnbull added: “Pontio will have several wonderful new lecture theatres and social learning spaces for our students, and we’re all looking forward to being able to use them. As with the theatre and cinema, we will use them in a limited way in the period up to Christmas, testing their technical capabilities by running smaller scale teaching events.”


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