Following the announcement Huw said:
This is a wonderful boost to an iconic valleys venue, taking it forward for new generations to use and enjoy and giving a major boost to the town of Maesteg and surrounding valleys.
This has been made possible only through a really strong partnership led by our cultural trust Awen together with Bridgend County Borough Council, Welsh Government, Arts Council of Wales, National Lottery Heritage Fund and of course the fantastic staff and users of Maesteg Town Hall and the Davies Trust.
At a time of prolonged and continued austerity-funding from the UK government, pulling this funding package together is a major achievement which will see this beautiful facility refurbished and transformed and fit for many years ahead.
Well done to everyone who has worked so hard to pull this together so we can all look forward to many great community events and productions, professional and touring shows, and library and cultural events both now and when the transformation has been completed.”
Press Release from Bridgend County Borough Council
Bridgend County Borough Council and Awen Cultural Trust have received a major funding boost for the planned £6m regeneration of Maesteg Town Hall.
Welsh Government has pledged £3.5m to the project from its Building for the Future programme, the Valleys Task Force and the European Regional Development Fund.
With additional funding in place from the council, Awen, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Welsh Government Communities Facilities Programme, Maesteg Town Council and the Davies Trust, work can shortly begin on repairing the iconic 138-year-old building and refurbishing it with new modern arts and culture facilities.
The plans for Maesteg Town Hall include turning the former indoor market on the lower ground floor into a modern library, and creating a heritage and volunteering centre, a cafe and new workspaces.
A multi-functional performing arts centre will be created on the first floor, and this will incorporate a main hall, renovated stage, dressing rooms, a bar and a smaller, more intimate studio theatre / community cinema. The balcony seating area will be refurbished, and both upper and lower floors will be linked by a modern glazed atrium and foyer, to address accessibility throughout the building.
Toilets and a fully accessible ‘changing places’ room will be provided, and the external bus shelters outside the building will be extended.
Additional funding bids will be submitted early in 2020 to ensure that the building is fully equipped with state of the art furniture and fittings prior to reopening. Cllr Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, said: “This is brilliant news, and I am delighted to see that the hard work of the council, Awen and all of our partners has paid off.
“This significant £6m investment is going to secure the future of Maesteg Town Hall, ensure that it can remain open for the benefit of the entire community, and will provide a wide range of local clubs, groups and organisations with all-new local facilities.
“The funding confirmation means that essential repairs can now be carried out alongside our planned improvements, and that this Grade II listed building can enjoy a whole new lease of life as a true hub of the valleys community.
“I would like to thank all of the organisations, groups and individuals who have helped us achieve this success, and I am looking forward to revealing more details about when work on this project will begin.”
Richard Hughes, the Chief Executive of Awen Cultural Trust, said: “The trustees and everyone at Awen are delighted with this news. A big piece of the funding jigsaw has fallen into place and we are a huge step closer to making this amazing project a reality. It is no more than the community and the users of this Hall deserves.” Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Hannah Blythyn said: “This beautiful architecturally important building which has served the community for so long is getting a new lease of life, and I look forward to seeing it flourish and grow.
“It will enable local people to come together and act as the social heart of the Maesteg community. In addition to a range of innovative resources, it will provide spaces for increased learning and skill opportunities in conjunction with a variety of partners.”
A timetable for the project is currently being finalised – look out for more details soon.