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Maerdy Newsletter August 2005.
The once proud Maerdy Workmen’s Hall has towered over Maerdy since 1905. For over 80 years it has played a central role in the cultural and leisure life of the village.

• It provided education for the villagers with its extensive library.

• It was renowned throughout the valleys for the shows it presented.

• It was the centre for local support for the 1984-5 miners’ strike.

Sadly, with the closure of the Colliery, the Hall has slumped into disrepair and has come to be regarded as an eyesore. In 2002, the Communities First Partnership commissioned the University of Glamorgan to research the needs of this Community. Local residents worked with professionals to gather evidence. What became clear was that "something had to be done about Maerdy Hall". A survey of the building ascertained that the building would cost in excess of £6 million to do essential restoration work. With no realistic project to sustain a building of this size, the Partnership concluded that the only viable option was to seek to secure the building’s demolition. Over the last three years, the Communities First Partnership has been working with the Council to secure the funding for the demolition. This month, Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council announced that the Welsh Development Agency has agreed to finance the work and that they would be proceeding with the demolition in the current financial year. Councillor Robert Bevan, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, said, “The building’s proud history will not be forgotten. For a long time it was a focal point and represented the strong community spirit of the area. My father was a trustee of the hall during the 1950’s. This is a significant announcement in the history of Maerdy, a chance for us to create modern and much needed facilities for the area, in its place.” Councillor Kevin Williams, Vice Chair of Maerdy Communities First Partnership, said, “The Hall has played an important and historic role in the life of this community. Sadly though, it has now come to signify decline and dereliction. Local residents want to see the building brought down as a starting point for renewal and regeneration in the village as a whole. The next step for the Partnership is to come up with a fitting project to place on the site. However, we must ensure that the history attached to the Hall is retained.” Former trustee and local resident, Mike Richards, commented, “It’s a sad day but also a necessity. The building has attracted many thousands of people for leisure and pleasure over the years. Now something more befitting to Maerdy people in the 21st century can be put in its place.” Graham John, Chair of Maerdy Communities First Partnership said, “This is an example of effective Partnership working. Communities First does not have huge resources at its fingertips but by working together we will eventually achieve our aims”.

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