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Following a series of thorough tendering processes, Powell was named as the preferred supplier to undertake the refurbishment and fitout of the Wales Millennium Centre. With a total project value of over £4 million pounds, this was the largest refurbishment in the art-centre’s nearly two-decade long history.

The 20-week transformation has given an entirely new look to the iconic building and has empowered the organisation to be more commercially independent not only for today, but into the future. Perhaps more importantly, this newly refurbished, incredibly versatile space, will entice new audiences to engage with the arts, boost the Welsh economy, and much better accommodate modern consumer and working habits.

Images below: Wales Millennium Centre during refurbishment

The first phase of the project – consisting of the more popular, public-facing areas have now been completed by Powell. The original welcome space and ticketing office has given way to an eclectic mix of spaces – most prominent among these is a 12-meter-long bar and bespoke seating areas. Other spaces include facilities such as a café, break out and co-working zones. Separately, to the rear of the building, a vibrant new performance area has been developed (previously part of the “Blas” Restaurant), to accommodate a 140-seat Cabaret space, which will play host to a daring programme of drag, comedy, burlesque, live music and spoken word performances.


Images below: Wales Millennium Centre after refurbishment

Given the cultural, and economical importance of the centre (which attracts 1.6 million visitors, and generates £70 million for local businesses a year), the main challenge was to undertake this work without disrupting the day-to-day running of this national treasure. The Centre’s performances are critical to putting Wales on the world map as a cultural hub, but also, critical to the creative industries generally – including artists, and the visiting public, following what has been a very difficult few years for the arts. Ensuring the public were not starved of creative expression, Powell had to work to an extremely strict timetable, not only ensuring no disruption to rehearsals and live-shows, but also to accommodate restriction-free deliveries of new sets and equipment, and more.

The Centre has reopened with a raucous return of the public, and the feedback has been incredibly positive – from staff and the public alike. As this was a Powell project, it was of course delivered on time and on budget.