Tredegar, the birthplace of the NHS on Bevan Day
Number 10 The Circle was once home to the Tredegar Medical Aid Society, used as the blueprint for the creation of the National Health Service in 1948 by Aneurin Bevan. This small but important building helped pioneer health care as we know it today. The NHS has been vital in the fight against COVID-19 and now more than ever we should celebrate the role a Welsh town played in helping inspire the creation of this vitally important service.
10 The Circle has been revitalised thanks to the Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT) who purchased the derelict building in 2019 and completed a full refurbishment supported principally by the European Regional Development Fund via Welsh Government, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Blaenau Gwent CBC.
Pictured: Gary Ellis Chief Executive, the Coalfields Regeneration Trust handing over the keys to Kevin Phillips, Director of Cymru Creations.
The renovation includes the development of the Tredegar Workmen’s Medical Aid Society Heritage Centre, a place where people can work, learn and celebrate the social and political historical significance of the building. The development aims to create a distinct destination town, linked to Aneurin Bevan and the formation of the NHS, both for the local community and to attract visitors to the Town.
The Heritage Centre is designed to signpost people to other local heritage sites, such as the Tredegar Local History Museum, Bedwellty House and Gardens, the Chartist Caves and the Aneurin Bevan Stones. Investment in the renovation of other buildings on The Circle, Tredegar has created high quality restaurant and accommodation, such as the Tredegar Arms and the Cambrian Hotel. These are all key elements in the regeneration of the Town.
10 The Circle and the Heritage Centre will be managed and operated by Cymru Creations, a local social enterprise, providing training and employment opportunities in media and heritage.
Alun Taylor, Head of Operations for the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, said: “The Coalfields Regeneration Trust purchased the building in recognition of its huge importance to the history of Tredegar and the formation of the NHS and its potential as a Heritage Centre to tell a great story and to help regenerate the town centre.
“With partner support a great facility has been developed demonstrating what can be achieved when partnership investment and the community come together.”
Visitors to the Tredegar Workmen’s Medical Aid Society will be welcome from July 19th and visits must be pre-booked (visit the Tredegar Workmen’s Medical Aid Society Heritage Centre Facebook page for further information on booking).
The building complements the other regeneration work the Trust has delivered in the Town, such as Aneurin Bevan House where back to work support and debt advice is available and with the only credit union branch in Blaenau Gwent, providing affordable financial services to members and businesses and especially helping to alleviate high levels of indebtedness in the County.
The Trust also provides community development support on the Cefn Golau estate in Tredegar where, through Invest Local funding, we work with the community to identify and deliver activities and services on the Estate, including plans to develop a new community centre.
The Trust has concentrated its activities in Tredegar Town for the last 6 years and has further plans to regenerate the Town through a Well-Being Economy approach, including the development of a light industrial site, creating better paid jobs closer to home through the retention and development of indigenous businesses and helping to retain wealth generated in the Town.
CRT plans to develop similar success stories to help regeneration in other Valley Towns with like minded partners.