The Ebbw Vale Institute (EVI) Community and Cultural Centre has been carrying out extensive refurbishment and essential repairs at the historic Grade 2 listed building after being awarded £250,000 through the Welsh Government Communities Facilities Programme, securing its sustainability for future generations to enjoy.
We carried out a consultation with regular users of the EVI Centre, the oldest institute in Wales, and this grant has enabled us to fulfil many of the requests. Over 57% wanted a garden space for recreation, learning and meeting people and 45% wanted space for art and photography exhibitions.
A new garden space
The EVI garden was a disused area for many years, overgrown with unsafe fencing. The landscaping and ground works was a huge logistical endeavour with many challenges. With the garden structural works completed, this formally unusable area has been transformed into a tranquil space for learning, activities, meetings, and wellbeing.
With all the groundworks completed new seating, picnic benches and planters were placed via the BGCBC Town Centre COVID recovery scheme.
The Big Lottery Awards for All Environmental project enabled EVI volunteers to create a wellbeing space in the garden by planting bee friendly flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables in the EVI garden.
New safety measures were put in place with a new fire escape staircase and safety fencing being installed in the garden.
Placing a new roof
A new roof was essential to the sustainability of the EVI building. There had been several leaks, tiles were continuously slipping, and the guttering needed replacing as it was causing water damage to the fabric of the building.
The Communities Facilities programme funded several other facilities at the EVI, including:
- – A cinema quality projector and 4m wide screen
- – Exhibition facilities for artists and photographers
- – Baby changing facilities
- – Two new COVID secure ‘one way entrance / exit routes’ for learners and clients
- – Essential repairs and restoration of the staircase
- – Intercom and CCTV system
- – Heating upgrades
- – Office / storage space from previously unusable areas
The Welsh Government Communities Facilities Programme Fund has secured the fabric of this community building. Essential repairs have been made, COVID safety enhanced, formally disused spaces are now in use and additional facilities are now on offer to the community.
We are pleased to announce that the refurbishment and essential repairs are now complete, and we look forward to fully opening our doors again to the community at a future date. We are currently only open for appointment-based services. To keep updated on EVI developments follow us on our social media pages. Any news about reopening will be posted on the EVI website and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Welsh translation of this article is available here