RESIDENTS have expressed their sadness after it was revealed Abertillery miners’ institute is being sold for £70,000.

The Abertillery Workmens Welfare Institute, on Division Street, was originally used by local coal miners but was rebuilt in the 1950s after being destroyed by fire.

The 720 square metre building has a main concert hall and smaller hall – which the agents have dubbed “generous sized function rooms” – as well as a kitchen, office space, toilets and a lift.

But many residents in Abertillery have said they are upset at the town's heritage being sold - plus the danger it could be turned into flats.

Some have said the price is too low for the building while others have suggested ways it could be saved from being sold, for example by being bought by the community.

Asset Estates in Abertillery are the agents selling the building, which they say has a “wide array of possible uses” although these would need to be cleared with planning.

It is believed the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation owns the building.

In a statement from the organisation seen by the Argus, CISWO said: “What Rightmove doesn’t say is that if there are any willing inhabitants of Abertillery who wish to become trustees of the building (holding the building on charitable trust), and using it for charitable/community purposes then we'd be happy to enter into dialogue.

“The sad truth in Abertillery is that there are no individuals within the area who are prepared to take on the building and become trustees.

“Currently there is a small liability with the building which grows daily. If the residents of Abertillery wish to save this building then they need to put their hands up.”

The spokesman said if people are willing to be “hands-on”, the building could be save.

They added: “We would love to be able to save this institute, but cannot sit on our hands whilst the liabilities increase.”

Residents reacted online to the news the building was up for sale. Pearl Williams said: “That's heart-breaking.

“That was a miners’ sanctuary. Never thought I would see the day that would be sold, I am gutted.”

Ian Jones said: “This is probably the last thing they can take form us in this valley. I hope it's kept going for some sort of public use.

“Why don't the wider public wake up and see what is going on, our very heritage is being stolen from the people.”

Referring to the price, Lynda Price said: “It's the price that shocked me surely it's worth a lot more than the price of an average house in Abertillery.”