Furloughed workers from Venue Cymru and Theatr Colwyn have been temporarily employed to work on the ITV television series I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!The new series will be filmed in Abergele and is set to provide jobs for the local community.This includes a recent recruitment of experienced production runners within the area by ITV.
TV bosses announced last month that the 20th series would be taking place in Abergele, after the coronavirus pandemic halted plans for it to take place in the usual location of the Australian jungle.
Furloughed technicians from Venue Cymru and Theatr Colwyn began working on the production earlier this month. Eight employees joined the show last week with an additional two this week.The staff, all of whom had been furloughed, are now expected to remain on set for around another 10 days. They will be paid by ITV and are currently assisting crew on location at Gwrych Castle.Those involved account for 50% of the permanent staff within Venue Cymru's tech department.
It is hoped that ITV will extend their contracts in the coming weeks to cover production itself.
It could also offer roles on the series to additional furloughed theatre staff during filming of the show.This may include more technicians as well as those in other departments, such as in catering.The news comes after Venue Cymru confirmed recently that it would remain closed until December.A number of its employees were put on furlough earlier this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.The ten technicians will no longer have to rely on furlough though as they're now temporarily working.And even after the project concludes, they're expected to be kept on at the theatre in some capacity.
A Venue Cymru spokesperson said it was an "honour" for all involved.In a statement, they said: "It is an honour to link up with ITV by providing members of Venue Cymru's technical team to assist them while they are on location at Gwrych Castle."The spokesperson referred to the collaboration as a "great opportunity" and said employees are "all really happy to utilise their skills and expertise working on such an exciting project.""It is all credit to their talent," they continued, "that has enabled Venue Cymru and Conwy County Borough Council to be part of such a major event for North Wales."They added: "We look forward to continue talking with ITV and Gwrych Trust management over the coming weeks to explore other opportunities."
Dr. Mark Baker, chairman of the Gwyrch Castle Preservation Trust, also praised the collaboration.He said: "We have a very talented team at Venue Cymru and Theatr Colwyn."The trust founder added that he's "really pleased that they are being utilised by ITV," and suggested that "as the production grows, [he's] sure more will follow."