Arts Council works well just as it is: Letter

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The Independent Online
Sir: The proposed New Museum of Art and Sculpture Park for Wales, designed by David Chipperfield and sited in the parkland of Powis Castle in Welshpool, is in danger of becoming the next lottery casualty in Wales, following the recent "fiasco" over the Opera House in Cardiff, which was also the subject of an international competition.

The Mid Wales Centre for the Arts Trust has carefully planned the project over the past five years, the culmination of this being the full planning permission granted earlier this year. Everything is in place for this outstanding scheme to bring pounds 8m of investment to one of the most culturally neglected reas of Wales, bringing in its wake prosperity to the town of Welshpool.

On 18 October the Arts Council of Wales will decide on the lottery funding for the development of the museum. It will have to face the fact that the new local authority, Powys County Council, has denied the project partnership funding and refused to accept the obligation to the scheme it inherited from the former Montgomeryshire District Council.

The request to Powys is for an additional pounds 14,000 over and above last year's revenue grant to the Trust. This is a minute fraction of the local authority's leisure budget.

The local authority must reconsider its position if all the time, effort and money already spent on this scheme is not to be wasted. We believe that the Arts Council of Wales must show vision and support for this new visual arts complex which will help to put Wales firmly on the international artistic map. The local authority funding will surely follow.

Lord ELIS THOMAS

SHANI RHYS JAMES

ZAHA HADID

MAUREEN KELLY OWEN

ANDREW LOGAN

DAVID NASH

Professor IVOR RICHARDS

Sir RICHARD ROGERS

KYFFIN WILLIAMS RA

Mid Wales Centre for the Arts

Welshpool, Powys

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