Play a part in plans to revitalise Maesteg Town Hall
15 March 2017
Residents of the Llynfi Valley are being asked to give their views on proposals that could see a wide range of new community facilities introduced at Maesteg Town Hall.
Information sessions are being arranged by Awen Cultural Trust and Bridgend County Borough Council along with an online survey and public displays that will enable people to view artist impressions, look at the range and potential of new facilities that could be introduced and consider how they would like to use the town hall as a future community space.
Feedback gained through the sessions and survey will be used in the development of the proposals, which form part of a new vision that seeks to ensure the town hall remains firmly at the heart of the community while also addressing structural issues at the historic 135 year old Grade II listed building.
Among the examples demonstrating what could be introduced are a studio theatre space suitable for intimate live performances and digital cinema screenings, a new glass atrium and enhanced front-of-house space with a café and bar, and improved dressing room and backstage facilities capable of hosting a broader range of professional arts companies while better accommodating the needs of local choirs, bands and amateur dramatics groups.
Other suggestions include a dedicated ‘play, read and make’ children’s area featuring 3D printers, iPads and other IT facilities, a performance area for storytelling events and ‘Bounce and Rhyme’ parent and toddler sessions, enhanced meeting and conference space, quiet study and work areas featuring free access to superfast Wi-Fi, heritage and local history resources, books and much more.
Councillor Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Education, said: “These exciting and ambitious plans follow the re-launch of the outdoor market area and form a key part of establishing Maesteg as a regenerated market town.
“They demonstrate that the council and Awen are committed towards securing a future for Maesteg Town Hall, and providing fresh and new facilities capable of ensuring that it can continue to serve as the heart of the local community.
“We want to work with local people, groups who use the hall and other stakeholders to shape the vision for the town hall over the coming months, so I hope that as many people as possible take part in the information sessions and give us their thoughts and views.”
Originally opened in 1881, Maesteg Town Hall was funded by local miners and designed by Henry Harris of Cardiff. It houses a collection of work by the celebrated painter, Christopher Williams, and features a landmark clock tower that is recognised throughout the Llynfi Valley.
Richard Hughes, Chief Executive of Awen Cultural Trust, said: “Awen has been operating Maesteg Town Hall for just over a year now. In that time, we have seen significant increases in audiences with more than 25,000 visits in 2016 plus a further 45,000 visits to Maesteg libraries.
“We have hosted the likes of Russell Kane, Midge Ure and Mike Doyle as well as Steeleye Span, Only Men Aloud, Swansea City Opera and the Owen Money pantomime. The building has significant potential, but we need to be bold to ensure that the venue continues to thrive.
“We want to respect the great heritage of Maesteg Town Hall while also revitalising, regenerating and re-imagining its potential to ultimately create something special - a place that balances historical relevance with modern facilities, and which the people of the Llynfi Valley can continue to enjoy for decades to come.
“To do this, we need to re-think what the building is possible of and what we can achieve. We are keen to have as much feedback as we possibly can about what people would like to see and do at Maesteg Town Hall, and want to encourage the entire community to visit our dedicated social media page, tell us what they think and play a part in helping these plans take shape.”
The information sessions are currently being arranged and more details will be available soon. In the meantime, public displays are being set up at Maesteg Town Hall, Maesteg Sports Centre and Maesteg Library while the online survey is available at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MTHredevelopment
You can also view and discuss the proposals on Twitter by searching for @MTHredevelop, or on Facebook by visiting www.facebook.com/MaestegTownHallRedevelopment