Suspended Arts Centre director announces retirement


Alan Hewson held the role of Director for 28 years

THE SUSPENDED Director of Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Alan Hewson, has announced his retirement.

In a statement issued by the University earlier today, Hewson announced that he would be leaving the role after 28 years. He said that he “had enjoyed the many challenging and very rewarding years working with such a creative and committed team to place the Arts Centre at the heart of the community”

Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Aled Jones stated that “Mr Hewson had made a very significant contribution over many years to the development of the Arts Centre’s artistic programme, including one of the UK’s most comprehensive and ambitious community arts programmes, a leading centre for the contemporary visual arts in Wales, an innovative media programme and critically acclaimed summer musicals.”

Recognised as a ‘National Flagship for the Arts’, the Arts Centre has become one of the most highly regarded arts venues in Wales and the UK with over 700,000 visitors a year.

During his time as Director, Hewson also led the major award winning redevelopment in 2000, in which the Arts Centre was dramatically expanded in both facilities and artistic and commercial programmes, making it one of the key arts centres in Wales and the UK, as well as gaining an international reputation for its programme of festivals.

More recently, Hewson oversaw the installation of the multi-award winning 2009 Thomas Heatherwick Creative Studios, including the Artists in Residence Programme.

Hewson has been involved with a range of organisations throughout Wales to develop art forms and cultural cooperation and was the Chair of Creu Cymru, the Development Agency for Theatres and Arts Centres in Wales.

A University spokesperson said the University will “continue to work with the Arts Council of Wales and other stakeholders to ensure that the Aberystwyth Arts Centre continues to build on its many successes, and will make every effort to appoint a worthy successor to Mr Hewson to lead the Arts Centre and to maintain its highly-regarded position in the arts in Wales, the UK and internationally.”

Protestors had planned to demonstrate against the suspension and gagging of Hewson, along with the suspension of his former colleague Auriel Martin, at the University’s community open day, Access All Areas, tomorrow (22nd). It has not been confirmed as to what action is now planned.