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A National Lottery grant of £774,900 has been awarded towards the exciting redevelopment of Maesteg Town Hall.

The funding is another significant step forward for the project, which aims to repair and refurbish the iconic 138-year-old building while providing new modern arts and culture facilities.

Bridgend County Borough Council and Awen Cultural Trust are continuing to work together to secure the remaining funds required for the entire £6m project.

Cllr Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, said: "A project of this scale requires funding from various sources so we are thrilled to receive this critical support from the National Lottery.

"Piece by piece, the overall funding package is coming together and the outcomes of two further funding applications are expected within the next couple of months.

"With each funding milestone we move closer to being able to carry out all of the work that we have planned for this historic landmark building. The funding will be used to preserve the town hall for future generations by carrying out essential repairs to the fabric of the grade II listed building and creating a thriving arts and culture centre.

"Not only do we want to maintain the town hall's position at the heart of life in the Llynfi valley, but we want to enhance its position as a cultural community venue with new performance spaces, community facilities and improved accessibility for visitors."

Councillor Smith added: "I am also pleased to hear reports that individual units in the outdoor market are doing well as our vision includes the outdoor market square becoming an even more important focal point for the town."

The plans for Maesteg Town Hall include turning the former indoor market on the lower ground floor into a new library alongside a heritage and volunteering centre, a cafe and workspaces. The external bus shelters will also be extended, while toilets and a fully accessible changing places room will be provided.

The first floor will be taken up by a multi-functional performing arts centre/main hall, together with a stage, dressing rooms, a bar and a smaller, intimate studio theatre. The balcony will be retained and refurbished.

The two floors will be linked by a modern glazed atrium and foyer off Talbot Street.

Richard Hughes, the Chief Executive of Awen Cultural Trust, said: "We are delighted that the National Lottery has recognised our ambitious vision to preserve and promote Maesteg Town Hall's rich cultural heritage for current and future generations to enjoy, and is supporting us with this significant grant.

"Through our engagement sessions with local people, groups and organisations we have come to truly understand how much the Hall means to the cultural life and history of the town and its community, and the great deal of affection that exists for the building.

"Not only will the redevelopment transform the condition and accessibility of the Town Hall, but it will provide a unique opportunity to celebrate the heritage of the venue, the town and the Llynfi Valley through an exciting programme of interpretation, activities, events and shared experiences.

"We are very grateful to the people of the Llynfi Valley, and the local groups and societies who continue to work closely with us - it is never difficult to demonstrate to funders the support that exists for this project."

Richard Bellamy, Director of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Wales, said: "Thanks to National Lottery players, Grade II listed Maesteg Town Hall will now be revitalised and given a brand new lease of life - benefiting local people as well as visitors to the area. Creating 18 new jobs in the process, it will become home to the relocated town library and many new community facilities, once again putting this historic building back at the heart of the community."

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