MARCH 31 - APRIL 13, 2017 No. 4897 70p

Images have been released of how a Welsh town hall could look in the future if a proposed revamp is given the green light. An artist’s impression of

New vision for Welsh town

Maesteg Town Hall released by Bridgend council and featuring a modern glass atrium illustrates just one of the potential ideas being considered, as part of what the authority is calling a “new vision”. According to the council

the proposals could see a wide range of new community facilities introduced, and residents of the Llynfi Valley are now being asked to give their views on the plans. The scheme has already

run into controversy however, after it was revealed that the changes would not include the historic indoor market held in the basement of the building. This has been somewhat

offset by the recent re-launch of the town’s outdoor market area, which was given a £2.5m revamp in 2013. Awen Cultural Trust and

Bridgend County Borough Council have been arranging information sessions, displays and an online survey to allow the public to see the artist’s impressions and judge for themselves the range of potential new facilities that could be introduced. The council has said

that feedback from this consultation will help shape the development of the proposals, becoming part of the new vision which seeks to ensure the town hall remains firmly at the heart of the community, while also addressing structural issues at the historic 135 year old Grade II listed building. The following proposals

were among the examples revealed to the public to illustrate what might be done with the facility: • a studio theatre space suitable for intimate live performances and digital cinema screenings

• a new glass atrium and enhanced front-of-house space with a café and bar

ISSN 2057–6781

• improved dres s ing room and backstage faci l i t ies capable of hosting a broader range of professional ar ts companies while better accommodating the needs of local choirs, bands and amateur dramatics groups

• a dedicated ‘play, read and make’ children’s area featuring 3D printers, iPads and other IT facilities

• a performance area for storytelling events and bounce and rhyme parent and toddler sessions

• enhanced meeting and conference space

• quiet study and work areas featuring free access to superfast Wi-Fi, heritage and local history resources and books

“Exciting and ambitious”

Cllr Charles Smith, cabinet member for regeneration and education, told local media: “These exciting and ambitious plans follow the re-launch of the outdoor market area and form a key part of establishing Maesteg as a regenerated market town. “They demonstrate that the

council and Awen are commit- ted towards securing a future for Maesteg Town Hall, and providing fresh and new facil- ities capable of ensuring that it can continue to serve as the heart of the local community. “We want to work with local

people, groups who use the hall and other stakeholders to shape the vision for the town hall over the coming months, so I hope that as many people as possible take part in the

information sessions and give us their thoughts and views.” Maesteg Town Hall was

funded by local miners and designed by Henry Harris of Cardiff. It originally opened in 1881 and houses a collection of work by celebrated painter Christopher Williams, while its landmark clock tower is recognised throughout the Llynfi Valley. Speaking to local media

chief executive of Awen Cul tural Trust , Richard Hughes, said: “Awen has been operating Maesteg Town Hall for just over a year now. In that time, we have seen significant increases in audiences with more than 25,000 visits in 2016 plus a further 45,000 visits to Maesteg libraries. “We have hosted the likes of

Russell Kane, Midge Ure and Mike Doyle as well as Steeleye Span, Only Men Aloud, Swansea City Opera and the Owen Money pantomime. “The building has significant

potential, but we need to be bold to ensure that the venue continues to thrive. “We want to respect the

great heritage of Maesteg Town Hall while also revitalis- ing, regenerating and re-imag- ining its potential to ultimately create something special – a place that balances historical relevance with modern facili- ties, and which the people of the Llynfi Valley can continue to enjoy for decades to come. “To do this, we need to

re-think what the building is possible of and what we can achieve.

Traders fined over Doris

A market trader in Devizes has spoken of his frustration with Wiltshire Council and its policies after traders in the town were fined for not setting up during Storm Doris. Stallholder Chris Lugg

arr ived at his pitch on February 23 to discover that only seven of the town’s 30 regular traders had turned up for work due to unusually strong winds. “Under my insurance I can

trade in any conditions,” Mr Lugg told local media, “but

if the weather was bad and there was an accident, I am liable. “If the Met Office puts out a

warning but the market isn’t cancelled then I could be in trouble. It’s like being stuck between a rock and a hard place.” The decision on whether

to close the market is made by the market manager, and traders who fail to set up can receive a fine if their reason for not attending is deemed insufficient or contrary to

Wiltshire Council policies. A Wil t shire Council

spokesman said: “Our officers checked it was safe to hold our markets in Devizes, Bradford on Avon and Wilton last Thursday and all three went ahead without incident. Our permanent traders agree payment for their pitch and they are expected to attend. We always advise traders to ensure their stalls are robust enough to withstand these weather conditions so they can continue to trade.”

20th & 21st MAY, 2017 Anglesey Agricultural Showground

Tel: 07776 006111 Email: ‘Free face painting’ ‘Donkey Rides’ ‘Models & Crafts’ “We are keen to have

as much feedback as we possibly can about what people would like to see and do at Maesteg Town Hall, and want to encourage the entire community to visit our dedicated social media page, tell us what they think and play a part in helping these plans take shape.”

Trader celebrates

35 years on popular market

Maesteg Town Hall featuring a modern glass atrium – just one of the potential ideas being considered as part of what Bridgend Council is calling a “new vision”.

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INSIDE... Page 3

Free stalls for

new Market Rasen traders

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Bolton food festival chefs have been revealed

‘Steam Engines’ ‘Motorcycles’ ‘Tractor Pulling’ TRADERS WANTED!

‘Commercial Vehicles’

‘Classic Cars’

‘Children’s Entertainment’


‘Trade Stands’


‘Beer Tent & Live Bands’


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