SBW helps save the last Miners Welfare Hall in the Rhondda Fach

Tylorstown Welfare Hall is a much-loved community asset where local people gather to socialise and celebrate, writes Tricia Morgan. A long list of structural issues meant it was in danger of falling in to disuse. The Directors were committed to securing its future and drafted in Social Business Wales to help.

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Why it’s important

Tylorstown Welfare Hall is the last remaining Miners Welfare Hall in the Rhondda Fach and, following the closure of the town library, is the only community facility available for local people. The Grade II listed building was built in 1933 using miners’ contributions and had been featured on the BBC series Who Do You Think You Are?  with comedian Greg Davies.

The hall, and others like it across Wales, was intended as a ‘source of enlightenment’ for miners and their families, but as is the case with many buildings of its kind was in need of development and modernisation so that it could continue to be used and enjoyed. With fundamental improvements to the building, the hall would be able to provide an additional range of vital community services such as employment support and training as well as being home to a new café and a range of local groups, from drama classes to toddler groups. It was also hoped that the hall’s former cinema will be brought back to life – making it the Rhondda Fach’s sole cinema.

The Committee had already secured funding from several sources which could be used for the re-development, but needed a robust business and financial plan to satisfy its investors. Experts from Social Business Wales were on hand to help.

How did we help

The SBW team worked with the Directors to produce a detailed business plan with realistic financial forecasts.

During this process, it became clear that key HR and sustainability policies were also needed, and these were developed with support from SBW.

Impact of our support

Thanks to the support of SBW, the Directors were able to secure the funds needed to carry out the refurbishment of the building. A range of activities are now running, and a new part-time job has been created.

Social Business Wales is funded by the European Regional Development Fund through Welsh Government and is delivered by the Wales Co-operative Centre.

Tricia Morgan is the Social Business Wales business advisor for Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr Tydfil

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