A NEW heritage centre, celebrating Tredegar’s role in the creation of the NHS, has been opened in the town.

As part of the Bevan Festival – a four-day festival across the town celebrating its most famous son, Nye Bevan – health minister Eluned Morgan was in town to open the new heritage centre.

Ms Morgan said: "It is an honour to open this new building.

"There's a huge responsibility on my shoulders as health minister. I'm guided and inspired by the man who started it all off in Tredegar.

"We have to appreciate the NHS and not take it for granted.

"We must fight for it at every step."

The site, at 10 The Circle – is in the former offices of the Tredegar Medical Aid Society.

The Tredegar Medical Aid Society contributed to the model on which Aneurin Bevan based the NHS when he created the health service in 1948.

The renovation of the site was supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council.

Had it not been bought, the building was at risk of being auctioned off with its historic value being lost forever.

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust also invested £500,000 in 2020 to save and renovate the site.

Head of operations in Wales for the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Michelle Rowson-Woods, said: "We want to make Tredegar a destination town.

"People will come here to learn about Nye Bevan.

"Creating employment and jobs, we have to tackle those big issues and target resources into the town.

"Coalfields in general are overlooked. There are complex issues in the communities.

"We need the resources to do the work here."

Ms Rowson-Woods also stressed that the Welsh government had been consistent in their financial support - providing funds for the project since 1999 and promising to do so for the foreseeable future.

"We are really grateful for that," she said.

As well as providing a boost to tourism through celebrating the Tredegar’s health service past, there is also a space where local filmmakers Cymru Creations are based, and the building was also used by volunteers to co-ordinate food parcels and support for vulnerable people during the coronavirus pandemic.