MAP has the intention of transforming the former British Nylon Spinners factory at Mamhilad into an international cultural centre. It will unite fine arts, such as painting and sculpture, photography and film, with theatre and music, to provide spaces for creatives, and to become home to a new Welsh arts and science facility. It will have a creative hub for start-up enterprises closely associated with the arts and advanced technology, including interactive digital arts, games design, internet broadcasting, fashion and architecture. It will be both a community and a global hub, and finally an outstanding venue for the public at large, bringing job creation to the area.
The tower will house the theatre, restaurant and cinema complex with the space behind proposed as an open-air atrium where large outdoor sculpture can be exhibited. The resulting structure around becomes a vast display area available for the main non-permanent art exhibitions, providing a link between the gallery and the theatre blocks, with greater gallery space beyond. The theatre has a seating capacity of 800 to 1000 spectators, with the stage and backstage areas located under the tower. Above the theatre, the tower has three levels, two for cinemas and one for a bar and restaurant, with the rooftop becoming part of this recreational area.
The hub, as proposed by architect Paul Bretz is two floors of a wing to the South of the main factory which will be dedicated to the combined development of artistic creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship in the fields of design, architecture, fashion, fine arts, crafts, the music industry, performing arts, the film industry, the digital gaming and software industry, and communication technologies. The hub can be used directly by start-up companies or be adapted to individual needs. Some 150 diverse units could be accommodated in an initial phase, with companies requiring bigger spaces to be located in administration buildings to the North.
Behind the tower to the West, halls at the back offer two, and respectively three levels, for the connective Centre. This facility is expected to grow in stages, initially the Centre would look to engage local schools through regular cutting edge research, and develop courses and programmes to offer students new enrichment experiences in computer coding, practical science, technology and arts on a holistic level. with globally networked stages to broadcast exhibitions and events. Our aim is to engage with the Education sector throughout Wales and across the EU; to provide short residential courses to complement education at all levels; to offer residencies with space for practical interactive learning and teaching opportunities; and to be a major networking point.
MAP plans to establish a visitors’ centre and museum for heritage, retracing the historical and sociological evolution of the site and its neighbouring area. The building will contain an exhibition space where the different stages of the construction of the site and its operation can be shown, including a history of the development of the British nylon industry. Another section can be devoted to showing the technicalities of the nylon production process.