We’ve been thinking a lot about our heritage in the last few weeks as we witness the efforts of our client The Coalfields Regeneration Trust Wales as it tries to save the historic Cwmaman Institute near Aberdare.
We are so lucky in Wales to have a wealth of heritage as well as a fascinating culture so it’s only right that we do all we can to preserve and celebrate it. Our wonderful language, landscapes, traditions and history have shaped a unique sense of place and pride. It’s good to be Welsh!
Of course we are blessed with fantastic castles and striking buildings, but it is often the smaller heritage sites than mean the most to the people of Wales.
Like Cwmaman Institute, which opened in 1868 for local coal miners and went on to become the very heart and soul of the village long after the mines closed, these buildings give character and distinction to their community.
After such a long and illustrious history, the Institute was forced to close last October, bringing an end to a long-tradition at the heart of the community.
In latter years it became a centre for the arts, transformed into a vibrant theatre, and was indeed famous for a number of performances by those proud sons of Cwmaman, The Stereophonics, who famously named an album after their home town (as well as a Slade song!).
But thanks to the work of our client The Coalfields Regeneration Trust Wales there are some very positive noises coming out of Cwmaman.
Of course the key to the long-term success of such buildings is for them to continue to be relevant to their communities as just being preserved in aspic is only a short-term solution.
They are linked to our sense of belonging and people are rightly protective of them. And
that’s another great thing about being Welsh, we all pull together to do all we can to save the things nearest and dearest to us.
This is where the work of The Coalfields Regeneration Trust Wales comes in, working hard to regenerate local economies, bringing people together in the common goal of re-purposing such important local hubs, ensuring a sustainable future and essentially and ultimately returning them to the communities they serve.