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Culture goes online to help residents through firebreak

Swansea’s Glynn Vivian Art Gallery.

Some of Swansea’s leading cultural services plan to make sure that residents are stimulated through the firebreak.

Although the latest coronavirus restrictions mean that venues will be temporarily closed to the public, Swansea Council staff will be reaching out online and in other ways.

Those aiming to publish engaging fresh material on the web include the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, local libraries and the West Glamorgan Archive Service.

Meanwhile, the city’s open spaces will remain available for residents to exercise locally and in line with restrictions through the firebreak that runs from October 23-November 9.

Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “Many venues will close for the firebreak but – as they have done through the whole pandemic – they’ll adapt to the needs of our communities.

“By operating in innovative new ways, we will help everybody get through this together. We’ll let residents know when venues re-open.

“Outdoors, the city still has plenty of places to exercise close to home. They include local parks and play areas.

“We ask that people continue to enjoy Swansea responsibly by using these locations for exercise, not making unnecessary journeys and going out only with people from their household.

“When out, please socially distance and only engage in exercise that starts and ends at home.”

The Glynn Vivian has created a new online family trail, full of fun activities to keep everyone creative at home during lockdown.

There are also artist talks, music and films on the gallery’s You Tube channel so that art enthusiasts can continue to enjoy current exhibitions.

The venue’s new website – www.glynnvivian.co.uk – showcases highlights from the gallery collection, news about current exhibitions and household activities for adults, children, families and little ones.

While library sites are closed many services will still be available online. Members can download free e-books, e-audiobooks and e-magazines.

They can access free online information resources such as those that enhance learning and reading for children and those that offer ancestry and reference services.

Non-members can sign-up online to start enjoying access to all online resources from Swansea Libraries without visiting a library –  http://www.swansea.gov.uk/joinalibrary.

Some residents have attractive outdoor places on their doorstep – including cycle paths, footpaths and parks – and they can rediscover them when exercising as long as they keep within the firebreak restrictions.

The council’s EnjoySwanseabay.com operation has teamed up with Mountain Warehouse to offer prizes in a half-term competition to help in this activity. For ideas log on to www.visitswanseabay.com/enjoy-swansea-in-autumn.

The council’s sport and health team have planned some virtual ParkLives health and fitness session during the firebreak. Details: https://www.swansea.gov.uk/parklives

Meanwhile, part of the Grand Theatre continues to operate as a seven-day-a-week walk-in local testing site for citizens with coronavirus symptoms.