Construction work is continuing to make good progress on the multi-million pound repair, restoration and extension of Maesteg Town Hall.
Knox and Wells, the main contractors working on the project, are returning the Grade II listed building to its former glory and enhancing it with a new glass atrium, studio theatre and cinema space, café and mezzanine bar, heritage centre and modern library.
Some of the works undertaken over recent months include:
- Installation of a new natural slate roof across the main building
- Removal of the 1970s laminate wall cladding inside the main auditorium, revealing the original timber wall boards which will be repaired, sanded and reinstated
- The demolition of the porch and main entrance steps to make way for a new stairway and lift, improving accessibility to the hall
- The discovery of two cast iron columns with ornate capitals at the back of the auditorium – these will now be retained and redecorated
- The lowering of the stage to its historic level showing the original timber floorboards, skirting boards and radiators
- An inspection of the clock and its tower which has revealed the extent of the repairs and redecoration needed
- The clearance and cleaning of the former market space which has exposed glazed tiles, a previously unknown window, terracotta brick quoins and stonework
Bridgend County Borough Council is working in partnership with Awen Cultural Trust and a number of key funders on the project which is one of the biggest investments in Maesteg in decades.
The council’s cabinet member for regeneration Councillor Dr Charles Smith said: “Since lockdown measures were introduced to reduce the spread of coronavirus, Knox and Wells have been strictly complying with Welsh Government guidelines on the social distancing of employees, sub-contractors and visitors to site.
“They have also worked hard to minimise any unforeseen delays or disruption to the supply chains, caused by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, so that work can continue at pace during these unprecedented times.
“We are hugely grateful to them for the way they continue to make good progress on this exciting redevelopment.”
The total amount invested into the project from the council is almost £3m.
Councillor Smith said: “As is normal with a project of this scale additional costs appear as contractors begin work, for example extra funding is required to complete the repair and restoration of the clocktower along with smaller elements which were previously unforeseen.
“The total value to the contract is still within the current capital programme financial envelope and as a result no further funding is requested.”
The £7.9m project is being funded by Bridgend County Borough Council, Welsh Government regeneration funding, the Valleys Task Force, the European Regional Development Fund, Awen Cultural Trust, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Maesteg Town Council, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Davies Trust, the Pilgrim Trust, CADW, the Welsh Government’s Community Facilities Programme and its Museums, Archives and Libraries Division.