The campaign to transform Caerphilly District Miners’ Hospital into a community centre is gathering pace.
The Caerphilly Miners Community Centre Management Committee, which was set up last year to try and keep the main building for the community, held its first event on Saturday.
Dozens of people visited the Twyn Community Centre, in Caerphilly town, for the committee’s coffee morning and official website launch.
The committee managed to sign up new members and people also shared their personal stories of the hospital for its website www.caerphillymcc.weebly.com
Caerphilly AM Jeff Cuthbert, who is the chair of the committee, said: “I thought that the event was a great success and am very pleased with the engagement we saw from the community.
“Not only was the coffee very good but the website looked very professional and will provide an opportunity for many people to keep updated on the project from the comfort of their homes.
“I think this has been a very effective means of raising awareness about the future of this important building.”
Caerphilly District Miners’ Hospital will be closed down once the new £172.7million Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr hospital is opened in autumn next year.
Much of the hospital site will be turned into affordable housing but the future of The Beeches building, which was built in 1924, is unclear.
The building was paid for by the miners of the Rhymney Valley after they each put aside 6d out of their weekly wage of 12s 6d to raise the £30,000 needed.
Because of its history and how it was built it is a powerful community symbol and one people want to see kept.
The committee’s secretary, local resident Katherine Hughes, said: “We have to demonstrate that the community really wants to retain the original hospital building and will make full use of it as a community centre for the future.
“The Key Fund grant we were recently awarded will help us to do this, but public support is vital and it was great to see this at the coffee morning on Saturday.”
A similar event will be held in two months and the committee is also hopeful that a stall showcasing its plans can be arranged at this year’s Big Cheese event.