New community garden officially opened in Nantymoel

Councillors and special guests recently attended the official opening by the Mayor, Cllr John Spanswick, of a new community garden, created on the site of the old Berwyn Centre Miners Hall in Nantymoel.

The Hall was demolished in 2013 after falling into a state of disrepair and closing due to safety issues. In its place, a new community garden space has been created, overlooked by a striking sculpture of a miner and coal dram, reflecting the rich mining history of the area.

Famous local sportsman Lynn the Leap’s legendary jump is also commemorated at the site with an art feature of the Olympic champion’s achievement set in paving inside the community garden entrance.

Keep Wales Tidy provided £25,000 of funding for the creation of a new Tiny Forest – a brand new project to plant 1,000 trees and establish a new outdoor classroom – funded by the Welsh Government’s National Forest programme.

A grant of £6,800, from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, went towards the creation of the Miner and Dram sculpture and around £120,000 was made available via the Valleys Task Force Covid-19 recovery funding for town centres to provide an outdoor meeting place within Nantymoel.

The plot of land was transferred to the Memorial Hall Trustees as part of a deal between the Council and the community at the time of the demolition. Although the works were finished last year, the official opening was delayed by COVID restrictions.

As part of the regeneration project, the Memorial Hall, affectionately known as ‘the Mem’ by residents was also given a major refurbishment. The building reopened in 2019 after undergoing a £350,000 transformation to create a new community hub and heritage centre for the valley. It now features a full-size sports hall, a community café, recreation rooms and meeting space.

The project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

Speaking at the event, the Leader said: “This is a wonderful day for the community of Nantymoel and wider Ogmore Valley. This amazing project would not have been possible without the teamwork and partnerships with Keep Wales Tidy, Valleys Task Force, the Coalfields regeneration fund and our rural development team.

“The natural seating area, native trees and ornamental plants have transformed this outdoor space into a peaceful and picturesque location that we hope will be of real value to the local community.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to offer a special note of thanks to the Memorial Hall Trustees for their ongoing support and for taking on this fantastic communal area. Thank you to all who have attended today and I’m sure you will all make good use of this wonderful community garden.”