A Welsh icon stands in a small South Wales village; Newbridge Memo memorial hall and Grade II former miners’ institute. The institute is a lasting monument to the miners who worked so hard to build it, to open in 1908. The memorial hall was built in 1924 to remember the local servicemen who lost their lives during the First World War. Recently refurbished, the Memo is a crucial community hub, with a busy modern library, daily classes, events and evening entertainment.
The project aims to preserve the Memo for future generations and encourage understanding of its history. The restoration work includes the deco style ballroom, bar, kitchen and the spacious auditorium, which is now a theatre stage and cinema facility. The memorial hall has a heritage learning experience, with a dedicated interactive programme telling the story of the building’s development.
Since re-opening in 2013, the building has attracted more than 100,000 visitors per year. Some 40,000 people visited the library and information resource centre in its first year of operation and around 20 local groups regularly use the building to run events. Events have included tea dances which attracted more than 100 senior citizens.
The Newbridge Memo featured in BBC2’s Restoration programme where it came second in the UK finals. The building is regularly used for filming shows such as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who. The project has also attracted the support of the Prince of Wales, Richard Attenborough and honorary patron James Dean Bradfield, Manic Street Preachers’ lead singer.
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