Caerphilly Miners Centre for the Community project has secured an offer of £300,000 funding through the Welsh Government’s CFAP scheme (Community Facilities and Activities Programme).
The success of the funding application will enable them to take a 99 year lease on the original Beeches building at the former Caerphilly Miners Hospital. It is a significant milestone in their journey towards achieving their vision, which is to give back a restored part of the Caerphilly Miners hospital to the community, as a social enterprise delivering services to support well-being.
Katherine Hughes, Company Secretary said; “We have been working for four years to get to this point, working closely with partners, decision-makers and our community. This is a tribute to the support that everyone has given to the project and the faith that people have placed in our project and in me in particular – people like Jeff Cuthbert, AM our Chair since the project’s inception and United Welsh, who took the risk of working in partnership with us since we started.
“We have sought to follow the miners’ ethos of mutuality and collaboration, community enterprise and self-help. We will be delivering services for people to socialise, learn and develop skills, access information and advice and participate in community activities. There will be opportunities for people to invest in themselves and help their community. I feel confident that the model of community engagement and ownership that we are developing for this centre is the right one and I am sure that the Miners would be proud of how we have taken their vision into the 21st century.”
The group has received much local support; from its members to local businesses and media outlets. Lovell, who are delivering the new homes on the former hospital site with United Welsh are committed to supporting the group as is GE Aviation. The group however, still need to secure match funding and more donations to complete the project.
This announcement is timely as it precedes the launch of the ‘Caerphilly Miners 8’ fundraising campaign. In order to save the historic Beeches building and bring it back to full use as a community facility the Caerphilly Miners Centre for the Community must raise £1 million.
In order to reflect the donations made by the miners in the establishment of the ‘Beeches’ hospital in 1923; when miners from 29 local pits put aside 6d of their 12s 6d weekly wages to fund the hospital, the campaign reflects the monetary equivalent from the people of Caerphilly, £8.
“The campaign does not ask for £8 a week but a donation of £8 to replicate the donations of our fathers and grandfathers, or whatever people can give.
It is so important that the community pull together to build on this essential funding so that this historic building can be part of our community for generations to come.” Katherine Hughes added.
If you are interested in supporting the cause please contact Katherine Hughes on 029 2088 6569
Huw Lewis, Minister for Housing Regeneration and Heritage instigated the completion of the demolition of the historic former Caerphilly Miners’ Hospital marking the final phase before the building of the new Beeches Village begins.
The Beeches Village is being delivered through an innovative partnership between South Wales based housing association United Welsh and new homes and housing regeneration specialist Lovell, with the support of Caerphilly Council and Welsh Government. The site will deliver 82 much needed new two-, three- and four-bedroom homes, a mixture of sale and rent, in addition to new green spaces and public areas. The mixed tenure nature of this site will deliver ‘Caerphilly Miners’ Hospital .
The Minister for Housing Regeneration and Heritage led a demolition event heralding in the new phase of the development and notably marking the historical importance of the site. The £9.6 million scheme is due to be completed in Summer 2014.
The Minister said, “I’m happy to be here today and delighted that work to build these much needed properties is now able to begin. Providing good quality, affordable homes for people across Wales is one of my key priorities. That work is made easier when innovative partnerships such as the one behind this project identify ways to help us meet the growing demand.”