Redeveloping Maesteg Town Hall
Maesteg Town Hall is now closed for an ambitious and much-needed redevelopment. Costing over £8m, this project represents one of the single biggest investments ever made in the area.
Maesteg Town Hall has been the cultural heartbeat of the Llynfi Valley for almost 140 years. C.R.M. Talbot, the second longest serving MP in the nineteenth century, laid the foundation stone in October 1880. He donated £500 – the equivalent of over £59,000 in 2019 – towards the building fund. The miners of the valley levied a day’s wages towards the cost of completion. Maesteg Town Hall opened its doors for the first time in 1881. It was remodelled just before World War One and was Grade II listed in the 1980s.
Occupying a prominent location in the town centre, Maesteg Town Hall is a significant landmark. Its grand auditorium hosts a range of drama, dance, comedy, music performances and children’s events. Since 2015, Awen Cultural Trust has proudly operated the Hall and introduced a successful professional programme, which has been welcomed and supports by the community. Maesteg Town Hall is also a popular venue for weddings, conferences and civic functions, and is regularly used by a number of local theatre groups, choirs and operatic societies. In 2018, Maesteg Town Hall held over 110 events, with a total of over 27,000 visitors.
Maesteg Town Hall is also the permanent home of six paintings by the prominent Welsh artist, Christopher Williams. Williams was born in 1873 and brought up in Commercial Street, Maesteg by his father, the local grocer Evan. Described by the Prime Minister David Lloyd George as “one of the most gifted artists Wales has produced”, Williams died in 1934, on the day that two of his paintings ‘Paolo and Francesca’ and ‘The Artist’s Father’ were formally presented to the Town Hall by his son Gwyn.
Despite repair and maintenance programmes throughout its 140 years, Maesteg Town Hall has suffered from decades of deterioration to its fabric and built heritage. Studies carried out by structural engineers showed that, without immediate intervention, the building was at serious risk of closure. Awen Cultural Trust, together with its partners at Bridgend County Borough Council sensed the need to find a way to secure the building for generations to come.
A transformational redevelopment will not only secure the Hall’s future, but by enhancing its offer, could amplify its benefit two or three times over. After several years of planning, the project has secured funding from Welsh Government’s Building for the Future Programme, Communities Facilities Programme, Valleys Task Force and the European Regional Development Fund, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Maesteg Town Council and the Davies Trust to deliver a venue that will continue to inspire, engage, educate and entertain.
Please continue to follow our journey as we make this amazing redevelopment project a reality.
Explore the redevelopment journey
Maesteg Town Hall Heritage Interpretation Project
We are looking for volunteers to help us research the history and heritage of Maesteg Town Hall. As this research will need to be undertaken from home, due to the coronavirus restrictions, volunteers will need access to the internet or a selection of local history books. Specialist knowledge or experience is not a requirement – …
Work Begins on Maesteg Town Hall’s £8.2m Redevelopment
Construction work is due to start this week on the £8.2m repair, restoration and extension of Maesteg Town Hall. The Grade II listed building is being restored back to its former glory and extended on one side with a new glass atrium, studio theatre and cinema space, a café and mezzanine bar, and a modern …
John Thomas, Pencerdd Gwalia (Chief Musician of Wales)
John Thomas, world famous, celebrated Welsh harpist was born on St David’s Day 1826 in Bridgend. He came from a very musical family – his father played the clarinet and 3 of his siblings also became harpists. As a child he spoke only Welsh and played the triple harp in the traditional Welsh style. He …