An exciting time for the arts in the Bala area

Date: 06/02/2019

With the first community events having taken place on the site of Ysgol Godre’r Berwyn in Y Bala, a community group has come together to ensure that the early enthusiasm continues.


As part of the development of the new Godre’r Berwyn campus, there is a dedicated space for the arts, with modern digital projection equipment being installed on the site with the intention of showing films as soon as possible.


During the first event on the site, a large number of people came to enjoy the performance by the popular comedian Tudur Owen. It was announced on the night that the theatre would be called ‘Neuadd Derek Williams’, with ‘Stiwdio Buddug James’ also a part of the site – as a tribute to two people who worked tirelessly in promoting cultural activities in the area.


Councillor Gareth Thomas, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for Education, said: “With the £10 million of improvements on the Ysgol Godre’s Berwyn being completed, this is a very exciting period for the area. It is clear from these initial community events which have taken place on the site that there is a real desire to make the most of the facilities available.”


Councillor Dilwyn Morgan, who represents Y Bala on Gwynedd Council, noted: “It was great to see such a positive reaction to the announcement that the main site would be called Neuadd Derek Williams – a man who did so much to celebrate and nurture the talents of young people in the area over the years. It was also announced that Stiwdio Buddug James will be part of the site – another person who gave a lifetime of service in developing the performance skills of young people in the area.


“The intention now is to ensure that the provisions available are fully utilised by the local community. This is why a group has been set up by local residents to decide how we can make the most of the excellent arts facilities available in Neuadd Derek Williams and Stiwdio Buddug James. We would like to hear from anyone in the area who is eager to contribute and to become a part of the group.”


The local community group will be working with Ysgol Godre’r Berwyn and Gwynedd Council to develop a business plan for Neuadd Derek Williams and Stiwdio Buddug James. It also intended to employ a coordinator who will be responsible for marketing and working on the activities programme.


Bethan Emyr Jones, Ysgol Godre’r Berwyn Headteacher added: “It’s very heartening to see that so many members of the local community have agreed to be a part of the local group. The aim is to offer a place for local residents to meet, socialise and enjoy various events and performances.


“The first concert held in the hall was such a positive experience, which highlighted what the hall can offer the wider community. The hope is to build on this success by ensuring that the space is run for the benefit of the community and the school.”


With more activities being held in Neuadd Derek Williams and Stiwdio Buddug James, the group is eager to hear from local artists who are interested in creating or exhibiting work in the entrance area.


The space includes an open foyer with a shop/bar for special occasions. Neuadd Derek Williams includes a space that can sit 300 people for concerts, with the modern cinema space that will be available early in spring sitting 120 people.


Neuadd Derek Williams and Stiwdio Buddug James are available for hire by any group or organisation by emailing


PHOTOGRAPH: Ysgol Godre’r Berwyn, Y Bala