29 June 2011>
Blackwood Miners' Institute is to receive a £750,000 revamp to give the much-loved valleys venue a new lease of life.
Caerphilly County Borough Council's Cabinet considered a report earlier today (28th June 2011), which outlined a range of improvements that will give the building a new bill of health.
Cllr Phil Bevan, Cabinet Member for Education, Leisure and Lifelong Learning said, "Blackwood Miners' Institute is very much a beacon for first class live music, theatre, arts and other community facilities in Caerphilly county borough".
He continued, "I am delighted that funding has been agreed, which will allow these substantial works to take place, helping ensure that the building is fit for purpose for future generations to come".
The improvement works will be carried out in three phases:
Phase 1 - Making the building weather-tight including a complete roof replacement. Cleaning and re-pointing the main facade and demolition of the Lesser Hall to improve vehicle access at the rear of the building.
Phase 2 - Replace the seating in the main auditorium and redecorate the reception and theatre
Phase 3 - Replace fire doors and repair defective flooring. Provide showering facilities and improve changing rooms.
Cllr Allan Pritchard, Leader of the Council said, "I recently undertook a site visit to the Stute with all my cabinet colleagues to see at first hand the improvements that were needed to bring the building up to standard and save it from further deterioration".
He continued, "By raising a new roof for the building and undertaking the further phased work, we will be able to raise the potential to promote an exciting arts programme across the Caerphilly county borough".
The site is protected by grade 2 listed building status and will require listed building consent. In addition a bat survey is required to the roof structures and Lesser Hall before works start. The refurbishment works will also take into account energy efficiency improvements to ensure the building becomes 'cleaner and greener'.
It is hoped that work can begin immediately, but careful consideration will need to be given to the performance schedule in order to limit any disruption to the running of the venue.
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