The Hafren Theatre (part of NPTC Group of Colleges) has been given the green light to continue as a Coronavirus Testing Unit, open to the public until December.
Regional testing for Covid-19 began at the theatre, situated at Newtown College back in May, for those individuals requested to use the facility. The drive-through testing centre was established in conjunction with the Ministry of Defence and Powys Teaching Health Board and utilises the small, front car parking area as well as the theatre’s backstage facilities. It has the capacity to test around 100 people per day and has seen hundreds come through so far.
The Hafren expressed their support, saying: “being able to facilitate this provision, allowing the health service to reach its national targets for testing is amazing. In order to support the community with essential testing, this service is scheduled to continue until December, adhering to the guidance from Welsh Government”.
The Theatre, whilst providing numerous online activities, is unable to show live performances at present and therefore is not in use to the public. This testing is discreet so will have no impact on students starting or returning to the College in the coming months.
The safety and wellbeing of the Colleges’ students and staff, and the public remain the number one priority and the College will continue to follow the advice and guidance from Welsh Government and Public Health Wales. Plans are in place to deliver blended learning from September across all College sites, but this situation will be monitored very closely. Facilities around the College are being reviewed for usage and guidelines have been drawn up for the phased physical return to these facilities, including classrooms and workshops as well as all conference facilities.
Mark Dacey Principal and CEO of NPTC Group of Colleges said:
“As Newtown College and The Hafren Theatre are at the heart of the community, it makes me incredibly proud that through this difficult time we have been able to adapt our facilities to better serve our local community with this essential testing. We have embraced online delivery not just academically, but with The Hafren continuing to provide some extraordinary free online art, dance and theatre workshops to all ages.”