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Nantymoel’s Memorial Hall to get £200k revamp

08 December 2017

The Memorial Hall in Nantymoel will be redeveloped using £200k that has been set aside by Bridgend County Borough Council to replace community facilities that have been lost in the village.

Since 2013, the council has been working with community groups to bring forward a proposal to fill the gap that has been left in the Ogmore Valley following the demolition of the Berwyn Centre.

Last week, Cabinet Members from the local authority gave the green light to a business plan submitted by charitable organisation ‘Nantymoel Boys and Girls Club and Community Centre’ for the Memorial Hall, known locally as the MEM, to be given a major refurbishment so that the venue can be used to attract events such as comedy clubs, live music, theatre and plays.

The revamp will include the current tuck shop making way for a fully equipped kitchen and a new community café space, while the toilets will be improved and reconfigured.

The pool tables will be retained, and all of the rooms will become more welcoming and flexible so that they are more suitable for a wide range of uses.

After the initial redevelopment, the business plan outlines further potential to build an extension with two additional rooms for hire, an outside terrace, and dedicated parking spaces.

The aim is for the facility to be completely sustainable within three years, with much of the revenue coming from room hire.

Welcoming the business plan, Councillor Huw David, the Leader of Bridgend County Borough Council said: “In the five years since the Berywn Centre was knocked down we have been working with the local community to come to a consensus on what should be done to replace it.

“A number of different options were explored by the community and it became clear that it would be better value for money and more viable to invest in an existing facility rather than seeking to build a new one.

“As a council we cannot afford to subsidise the daily running of the building, so it was vital for any business plan to be sustainable and demonstrate how the facility won’t be reliant on grants in the long-term.

“The business plan, which was worked up in conjunction with the Wales Co-operative Centre, ticks those boxes and we are excited that the proposals will result in a thriving community-run centre that will greatly benefit life in Nantymoel and the wider Ogmore Valley.

”The Memorial Hall is already well-used by younger people from the local area, and this redevelopment will attract new users and expand the facilities so that they suit the needs of all age groups.”

The ‘Nantymoel Boys and Girls Club and Community Centre’ is a charitable incorporated organisation that has been formed by members of the ‘Friends of the Berwyn’ group and the ‘Nantymoel Boys and Girls Club’, which has been based at the Memorial Hall since 1923.

The ‘Nantymoel Boys and Girls Club and Community Centre’ group are working with the council’s ‘Reach’ rural development team to bring their proposed development to fruition.

The Berywn Centre was originally built in 1901 as the Nantymoel Workmen’s Hall and Institute. Until the 1960s the hall had flourished as a hub of community, education, cultural and social activities, but the building’s condition was already deteriorating and it needed a rescue package from the Ogmore and Garw Urban District Council in 1973 for the building to re-open as a theatre and arts centre.

Although it provided a range of activities, attendance figures at the centre never recovered to its heyday of the 1960s, and in 2007 the theatre had to be closed when the roof was found to be unsafe. The building was demolished in 2013 after Bridgend County Borough Council confirmed it would have cost them more than £2m to make the centre safe.

 

Last Updated: 11/12/2017
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