Today: Where we're going.
|As a result of a meeting by a small group of Maerdy residents in 1989 and the resulting creation of a weekly lottery with over 900 contributors, the new Community Centre project collected sufficient funds to start constructing a much needed community facility out of a large abondoned police station.|
|It opened its doors for the first time, under its new use, in April 1994. From that time and with the support of Lottery funding, the expanding use by private groups and public agencies as well as our 'Lifelong Learning' partnership with Cardiff University, we have continued to invest in expanding the infrastructure and facilities within the Centre. The speed of the expansion has vastly exceeded our reported target usage figures every year.|
|Part of our success in the Centre is due to the fact that throughout our rapid growth we have never had the luxury of paid staff, so all our limited resources and precious funds have been invested in expanding the infrastructure. Precious funds indeed, because although we are officially in the second most socio-economically deprived community in the whole of the RCT County Borough, we have been refused European Funding no less than five times and even RCT themselves declined to support the Centre's running costs. So we did it without them, which unfortunately does make the Centre a target for constant attacks from the political activists.|
From the very beginning of the Centre's creation thoughts of our own theatre had been on top of our wish list. So much so, that it was decided in early 1995 to accept the challenge and on completion of our initial refurbishment work to the main Centre's infrastructure, the next project would be a new linked and purpose built multipurpose hall, theatre and performance area. Much of our efforts from that time, until the spring of 1998 was concentrated on this project and the establishment of support activities.
|The general expansion of the Centre and demand on it's facilities, including it's recently installed, 10 client, Computer Network and video editing suite, created an overload of the existing art and craft areas, which had be housed in the loft area of the existing building since 1995. This, coupled with the loft area being the only area of the Centre inaccessible for wheelchair access and the fact that a larger craft area will also provide room for a vastly increased range of activities, provided us with the stimulus to add to the Centre, a new purpose built workshop, craft centre, studio and exhibition gallery. The original craft area was then be used for our computer studio and homework/study area. The shell of the new extension was completed in 2001 and we are now working to establishing funding to fit-out the art studio and exhibition gallery. The new workshops for woodwork, metalwork etc, could assist in reducing our fit-out costs and thus save valuable resources.||
|The new hall and theatre facilities have been designed to integrate with the existing Centre, although all services and access can be used independently if required. The existing catering facilities in the Centre's cafeteria has a direct link to the theatre and can be used as private function catering facilities when the need arises. The floor is made of natural kiln-dried beech and is sprung for safe use during the more energetic activities. No fall mats are required by the Tang Soo Do, martial arts group based in the Centre.|
|The extension has been designed as a multipurpose building with the linked seating for two hundred people being easily removed and stored in a purpose designed storage area, thus taking advantage of the polished timber sprung floor and making the hall into an open, light and clean indoor physical activity and dance area.The main toilets, disabled facilities, baby changing and the shower area, are all central to the whole complex and are accessible from every area, including the new theatre.|
|It is the intention of the Management Committee to use the new facilities for as many varied events and productions as possible. The creation of local performing arts groups is an important role for the Centre and the performances of inhouse productions could assist the Centre's increasing running costs.|