Wales on Line Report:-
Hopes remain for Cwmaman Institute's future despite its impending closure.
Trustees of the Cwmaman Public Hall and Institute still hope the iconic building has a future, even though they are “devastated” about its impending closure.
The historic 1892 venue will close its doors for good on Monday, October 12, after it hosts The Railway Children Lady - a look at writer Edith Nesbit - by Ignition Theatre.
Trustees have confirmed it will close due to a lack of funding, and they have been in contact with Cwmaman band the Stereophonics who are “supportive” of their efforts to get it reopened.
Not looking for a 'gift of money'
But, one of the Institute’s trustee directors says they are not looking for “a single donation” or “a gift of money,” but for a business to take it over.
Gary Neal said: “It is definitely going to close on the 12th. It’s a different ball game now – a lot of the funding has dried up. Everyone working there is a volunteer.
“At one time we used to have 40 societies using it, and now there are five or six small groups left.
“The theatre is doing relatively well. There are less and less people coming to see shows, but there is no shortage of things to put on there.
“We had funding for a new digital system – a digital cinema – where we would have screened live events, like sport, from around the world. The funding was all in place.
“We are in contact with the Stereophonics, and they are very supportive of us. But what we need is almost ‘bigger’ than them – we don’t want a single donation for a building which we know will close.
“I’m sure they will lend us a hand in some way in the future.”
Mr Neal also outlined what, in the trustees’ eyes, the Institute needs to be successful, and says the Cynon Valley village’s opportunity for tourism should be built upon.
He added: “We need a big business to come in not a gift of money.
“It needs the input of a business, a strategy for what we have.
Opportunity for tourism in Cwmaman
“Cwmaman is a unique place. We have walks, cycle routes, mountains – the chance for tourism and the arts. It’s all there ready and waiting, and the building is not in a bad state of repair.
“We believe it still has a very lucrative future but it can’t finance itself.
“We want to get people back into the village, and spend money there.”
Meanwhile, the closure of the iconic landmark will be sorely felt by members of the Cwmaman community and the volunteers who have worked so hard to keep it open.
Mr Neal added: Cwmaman Institute has been the centre of our community all our lives.
'“It’s very disappointing because we’ve worked so hard to keep it going, all done for the love of it – no one gets paid for doing it, we are all volenteers.
“We are devastated we have to close it,
but we have to be practical.”