JUST days after the future of the Wyeside was once again called into question, two of the art centre’s longest standing members of staff have announced that they will be leaving at the end of next month.

Guy Roderick, CEO and artistic director, and Jess Hall, administrator and finance officer, have both given notice  they will be leaving the Builth Wells venue on March 31. The news comes just days after the County Times revealed the arts centre only has enough money to continue operating till September.

Julian Gibson-Watt, chairman of the Wyeside Trustees, has spoken of their regret at the announcement. “Guy has been in charge of Wyeside for 11 years and Jess has been here for eight. During that time Wyeside has survived against the odds, repeatedly produced outstanding programmes of live shows, film, community arts, education and visual arts, delivered exceptional value for public money and paid off over £100,000 of debt.

“The quality of its management has been recognised in Downing Street, by the award of Investors in People Status and by the second largest petition ever to be received by the Welsh Assembly Government, totalling over 8,000 signatures. These are fine achievements of which Guy and Jess can justly be very proud.

“The trustees greatly regret they are leaving, but it is understandable they should now wish to move on and they do so with the appreciation and best wishes of us all.”

The Wyeside Trustees have resolved immediately to seek an experienced interim manager and an administrator/finance officer to replace Guy and Jess in managing Wyeside from March 31, and are taking appropriate steps to advertise these positions.

Suzy Davies, Conservative parliamentary candidate for Brecon and Radnorshire, and former Mid Wales arts marketing manager, said the new employees will have big shoes to fill. “No one person is bigger than the organisation itself, but I am extremely sorry to hear that Guy and Jess are leaving Wyeside.

“There’s no doubt that their courage, imagination and deep knowledge of the arts and entertainment industry have made the Wyeside such a special venue.

“I’ve known the centre for years, both professionally and as a punter, and there is no comparable venue that has this wonderful sense of belonging to its town and people.”

She added: “It’s is a shame that it has not always had its fair share of public arts funding, most of which seems to travel no further than Cardiff city limits.”