The Abacus Closes
Last Friday (18th December 2015) marked a celebration and a tragedy of the final public arts event of The Abacus here in Cardiff.
ProMo-Cymru who had ran the building for nearly two years with the Modern Alchemists hosted a party involving a few hundred people to take part for the space's last hooray before it gets refitted as a Boots.
The people who turned up to the event were a mixture of artists, musicians, colleagues and friends who all had spent wonderful experiences in this special building and wanted to deliver an appropriate closure to the Abacus with flying colours. The evening kicked started with a rich variety of local bands performing, DJs showing off their remixes and painters creating their artistic masterpieces. Everyone participating to make the evening special and historic for everybody. There were people dancing, drinking, laughing and even in tears as all came to the realisation it was end of an era and also a new beginning especially with 2016 soon approaching.
The closure of the Abacus was decided by Cardiff Council back in early December due to the long-term negotiations with the pharmacy chain Boots, who for a while planned on expanding their enterprise to construct a pharmacy on Wood Street. In the last year, Wood Street has recently undergone changes in terms of new building projects since Cardiff Bus, the BBC and Boots are developing new offices and facilities to not only expand business, but also bring jobs to the people of Cardiff. Despite these promising opportunities, it is also a big disaster for small enterprises like the Abacus that can't match the competition of the local market.
Furthermore, Cardiff Council, the owners of the building, are currently facing trouble due to the lack of public funding since the government decided to cut a further £32 million for 2015/16. This decision has consequently put increased strains on the Council, who are struggling to financially support local communities and save jobs for those who need them.
So what happens to the people running the Abacus and their future careers? I spoke to Adam White who was the Health & Safety Officer and worked at the Abacus for about a year. He stated along the lines that some of the staff will carry on with their community work in other locations in Cardiff and others will pursue other things. It is clearly a difficult time for young people like Adam who worked hard to make a difference for those who needed help and it is sad time for an establishment like the Abacus to finally close down.
It is difficult to end this review on a happy note since we are fast approaching Christmas and the New Year because there is still the ongoing issue of young people struggling to find jobs and the acclaimed economic growth hasn't made much a huge impact in Cardiff.
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Photo Credit: ProMo-Cymru
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