Posted on: Wednesday 26 September 2018
One of Blaenavon’s most historic buildings is to be transformed after being awarded funding of almost £280,000.
The iconic Blaenavon Workmen’s Hall will undergo a major programme of repairs and improvements thanks to a collaboration between Torfaen Council, Blaenavon Workmen’s Hall Company, Blaenavon Heritage Museum, Blaenavon Town Council and Welsh Government.
The programme is a further boost to the plans to make the hall a cultural hub for the Blaenavon community and support a range of needs and creative/community focused uses.
The funding bid will initially focus on improvements to the building including repairs to the roof, the replacement and upgrading of essential theatre sound and lighting equipment, installation of acoustic sound solutions and much needed room partitioning.
The second phase will improve the building’s energy efficiency including double glazing, thermal efficient front doors and measures such as lighting sensors and LED lighting throughout the building. The works are likely to commence in early 2019 and be completed by the end of the year.
All partners are contributing to the project including £194,000 received through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government. An additional £34,000 is being provided from Torfaen Council’s Regeneration Funds for Blaenavon ward.
Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said:
“Our Rural Development Programme is designed to boost rural communities and this project achieves these aims by tackling poverty and supporting economic priorities, whilst helping the community to thrive.”
“I am pleased we have been able to assist in improving Blaenavon Workmen’s Hall as the work carried out will create a cultural hub in the heart of Blaenavon. This hall has the potential to serve the community in a multitude of creative and artistic uses, promoting social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas.”
Cllr Alan S Jones, executive member for business, tourism, leisure and culture, said:
“This news endorses the ongoing success story of the Workmen’s Hall. Not only are we now in a position to address much needed repair issues of this beautiful and much loved building but the Hall tenants are going from strength to strength making the building fit for current needs.
“We are also seeing new cinema seating being installed thanks to the Workmen’s Hall Company and Blaenavon Town Council, the latest in cinema programming, more frequent and popular theatre performances as well as the continued preservation of Blaenavon’s heritage collection.”
“Investment in making the building water tight, improving the use of space, increasing storage, upgrading technology and purchasing bespoke cinema/theatre equipment will enable this venue to become a more sustainable cultural resource for the benefit of the wider community; offering training, volunteering opportunities and life skills for local people now and in the future.”