AN ARTS trust has been widely praised for helping to revitalise a grade II* listed theatre in Wrexham.

Wrexham Council’s executive board has agreed a one-off payment of £25,000 to help deal with a significant backlog of repairs at the Stiwt Theatre in Rhos.

However, leading councillors commended the fact that the Stiwt Arts Trust has already raised £75,000 for work required this year, as well as increasing visitor numbers.

They also supported providing £30,000 a year in revenue support to help the trust to put on arts and cultural events.

Cllr Hugh Jones, lead member for people, said the building was ‘unique’ and offered value for money.

Speaking at a meeting at Wrexham’s Guildhall, he said: “It’s a community building which is very much at the heart of Rhosllanerchrugog, but it’s also a building from which outreach goes out to a much broader area across the county borough as a whole.

“This plan will ensure a period of stability for the trust and the building itself.

“It is also good in terms of finances if you look at the cost of mothballing the building of over £40,000.

“It’s interesting to look at some of the work the Stiwt Trust does and in terms of promoting Welsh language and Welsh heritage they are excellent.

“They nurture young talent across their own and the wider community of Wrexham.”

The Stiwt Trust holds a 25 year lease and is responsible for repairs and the maintenance of the building.

A condition survey on the building was carried out in 2016 and revealed more than £440,000 of work was required.

Since then, the board has commissioned a large amount of repairs to make the theatre structurally safe.

The money raised this year will partly go towards creating a new fire escape after an old one was condemned.

Cllr Joan Lowe, who represents the neighbouring village of Ruabon, said: “As an adjoining local member to Rhos and the Stiwt, I know the value this building has for that community, the hard work the Stiwt board have put in, and also I want to pay tribute to the local fundraising committee who have worked tirelessly over many years.

“It is only with the commitment of so many local people that this facility is still there and prospering.

“It’s a great asset also to our local schools, because our local schools often come together for different functions there.”

Executive board members voted unanimously to approve the funding.