Failure to secure Department for National Heritage funding has forced the Wales Millennium Centre to scale down some of its plans. WMC wanted between £16M and £19M of Heritage money to allow inclusion of a high-tech Welsh history museum. But although £27M of Millennium Commission money and an £8.3M Arts Council grant ensure that the building can go ahead, plans for the museum's contents are less certain.
The rest of the complex will remain unaltered, and architect Percy Thomas Partnership's Cardiff Bay design is now being developed. Its main focus will be the new home of the Welsh National Opera. Consultant Ove Arup is helping to design the auditorium for both amplified and non-amplified sound.
The complex will also feature a residential centre for the leading Welsh youth group Urdd Gobiath Cymru. When complete, WMC reckons that up to 1,000 young people a week will attend lectures and cultural workshops at the centre. Construction is due to start in autumn 1998, with doors opening to the public in autumn 2001.