The Grade II listed Caerphilly Workmen’s Hall could be in line for a major restoration, if a planned Lottery funding bid is successful.
It is hoped the building will become a community hub, with space for educational, cultural and entertainment activities.
Caerphilly County Borough Council has backed the restoration plans in a meeting on November 27 and will work with the hall’s committee to secure Lottery funding for the project.
The council has agreed to allocate £3,500 worth of funding for feasibility studies and surveys, so that a report can be made outlining how much work needs to be done.
Kathy Lye, Chair of Caerphilly Workmen’s Hall, said: “We want to refurbish the hall and restore it to the way it was in the 1920s – a community arts and entertainment venue.
“All the volunteers and committee are grateful for the council’s support in our efforts to restore Caerphilly Workmen’s Hall. This is the first step in a long process, but knowing that we have the community and council behind us will make it easier. We’re very proud of the Hall and we’d like to thank everyone for their continued efforts.”
The hall first opened in 1925 after a group of local colliers donated their wages to pay for its construction. Nowadays, it is run by a small group of volunteers.
Cllr Shayne Cook, who represents the Morgan Jones ward where the hall is located, said: “We’ve got a good working relationship with the committee and we’re in regular contact with the volunteers to try to advance their plans. It’s good to see progress shortly after arranging a recent meeting between the committee and officers of the Council.”
Cllr Jamie Pritchard, who also represents Morgan Jones, said: “We made the case for increased support for the hall in our submission to the Caerphilly Basin Masterplan consultation. We’re heartened that some of the recommendations we put forward for improvements to the hall are now being acted on by the local authority. We want more announcements to come, so we will keep working with the committee to make the case.”
The Caerphilly Basin Masterplan was approved in July 2018 and is part of ongoing plans to promote Caerphilly as an employment, retail and tourism hub.
Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Cllr Sean Morgan said: “We’re very pleased to be supporting the Caerphilly Workmen’s Hall project. The Hall is of historical importance and is a key entertainment venue in the heart of Caerphilly town centre and led by a dedicated group. I hope this ambitious project will see the facility thrive into the future.”
However, it could take between one and two years for the bid to be put together and accepted by the National Lottery Fund.
Work on restoring the historic building could then take a further three years.
Volunteers needed at Caerphilly Workmen’s Hall
Caerphilly Workmen’s Hall is looking for sound and lighting volunteers.
Earlier this year, the hall received a grant from the Big Lottery Fund to pay for an upgraded sound system.
Kathy Lye, who is chair of the hall’s management committee, said: “Since then, the only volunteer with any technical know-how, Peter Davis, has been working his socks off to install the new system.
“With the popularity of the Hall growing, poor Peter has to be there for every event to operate the lighting and sound. So we need to find some new volunteers to help him out.
“If you have any experience of events lighting and sound, we would love to hear from you.
“Even if you are an enthusiastic beginner and would like to get involved, please get in touch.
“This is the perfect opportunity to get involved with your community in a practical way and to help build Caerphilly Workmen’s Hall into a top-class community entertainment and arts venue.”
For more information on how to volunteer email firstname.lastname@example.org.