ONE of Wales' last Miner's Welfare Halls is being renovated so it can once again be open for community use.

Friends of Cefn Fforest Miners Institute are raising funds to save Cefn Fforest Miners Institute in Blackwood, with Hughes Architects appointed to produce transformative designs.

Hughes Architects were chosen for the work due to their track record of conservation architecture and work on heritage buildings.

Richard Lewis, an architect and director at Hughes Architects said: "There are just 48 out of 200 miners institute buildings left standing in Wales and Cefn Fforest is one of them.

"The trustees of the institute have worked hard to towards saving this important heritage asset and to bring it back into a fulfilling use for the local community.

"We’re pleased to have been appointed to work with the group on detailed plans that will lead to its full restoration and transformation into a community asset.

"The building, known locally as the ‘stute’, was designed and built in an Art Deco style.

"It’s an amazing structure that is not just important to the local community, but to the built environment because of its architectural heritage."

The plan is to modernise the building and renovate it for a wide range of community uses.

Hughes Architcts has worked with the National Trust, Church in Wales, CADW and others on conservation projects and managing director and principal architect Doug Hughes, is just one of 176 Conservation Architects registered on RIBA’s Conservation Register.

Secretary of the charity trustees, Terence Evans, said: "This is the third major milestone for us, the first two being achieving charity status and securing the lease of the building.

"Whilst securing funding is not a given, the appointment of Hughes Architects will demonstrate to funders and individual doners that we have detailed plans and will show exactly what any money they give us will be spent on.

"For the last two years a dedicated group of volunteers have been working to clean up the building, make it watertight and repair some of the deterioration that has taken place in recent years.

"Having Hughes Architects on board will help us to build on that good work and take us on to the next level."


The institute was completed was commissioned in 1927 and the foundation stones were laid in 1930.

The building was completed in 193 and local miners personally subscribed to its costs.

Further details on the project can be found here.