THE EBENEZER CENTRE.
The Ebenezer Centre is situated at Cwmffrwdoer, a small village above Pontnewynydd and approximately one and a half miles outside the town of Pontypool.
The village, as it is known today, was mostly constructed in the 18th century during the time of the industrial revolution and has not changed a great deal since the closing down of the mining industry, local forges and various mineral establishments, There are few amenities within the village with Pontypool being the main shopping centre.
The Ebenezer Centre Initiative was formed in 2011 with the main objective of pursuing funding to bring the once thriving Sunday School building up to the 21st century standards, so that it would once again provide multipurpose community facilities for all members of the local community. Under the previous control of the Ebenezer Chapel management, the hall had indeed been the centre of community events for over 100 years since its completion in 1907.
Sunday 12th July marked the official opening of the totally refurbished Ebenezer Centre with approximately 100 guests attending. Taulupe (Toby) Faletau agreed to come along to perform the cutting of the ribbon and declare the Centre open for business.
The initial funding to start this upgrading project came from the local community by fundraising events. This then extended to applications to major funding providers. The former Sunday School building and associated land is wholly owned by Ebenezer Chapel and held in trust with the United Reform Church, both of whom also provided funding (this URC donation came from a successful application to their Mission Fund). Under the Welsh Government’s Community Facilities & Activities Programme, we were awarded the substantial amount of £298,633.00 along with other relevant funding through the Welsh Coalfield Trust, Environmental Wales and the Welsh Churches Fund.
The first phase of the project involved total refurbishment and resurfacing of the access road as well as the car parking area adjacent to the hall itself, making it fit for purpose. The second phase involved removal of all the existing internal features – obviously exposing a number of age related problems within the original building, new damp proofing and concrete substructure under the floor both essential features. The outside of the building has been insulated and double glazing installed, resulting in a highly efficient energy saving building.