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Residents start fundraiser to save community building which was a former nightclub

28 Jun 2024 4 minute read
The building was formerly the popular nightclub Mamas Paradise in Pontardawe. Photo by Jaggery is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Lewis Smith, local democracy reporter

Residents have come together in the hope of saving a local community hub described as being at the very heart of the area.

They have launched a fundraising campaign in order to buy a popular community-run building in Pontardawe which is reportedly being sold by its private owners at auction for around £250,000.

The building was once known right across Wales as the home of the former Mamas Paradise nightclub which used to sell drinks for as little as 10p at one time, with locals partying well into the early hours of the morning at weekends.

However, after it’s closure the building was completely transformed into a well used community facility that now plays host to a number of local clubs including a martial arts academy, men’s and ladies support groups, yoga classes, and a community coffee shop.

Support

The announcement of the potential sale has led to an outpouring of support from the people of the town in recent weeks with a Crowdfunder page set up to buy the “iconic” site with more than £2,000 already being raised.

A section of the campaign read: “The community group Hwb Lles Pontardawe that currently rent and maintain the building are trying to raise funds to purchase it, so that its community use and the area it sits in can be protected and saved as a local asset.

“Our vision is to celebrate the history of this building, to further develop it as a community hub for all ages and abilities, to aid the development of the martial arts academy, and to protect it as a mental and physical well-being centre.

“The funds raised will go toward securing the purchase of the building, and to further develop and support the community and well-being groups that use the building.

“£250,000 is the price that the property is being auctioned for. Together with the funds from this Crowdfunder page we are also raising funds from within the hub and companies who are sponsoring Mamas Academy.”

Swimming pool

The news of the building being put up for sale comes just weeks after the announcement that the town will also be losing its popular swimming pool at the end of the summer, with a planned closure as a result of structural erosion found in the building.

David Evans is one of three members who helps run the community facility and says the loss could be devastating to people in the town, particularly when it comes to those who use it for both mental and physical well-being.

He said: “This building is iconic and it is an incredibly important part of the community here in Pontardawe. Long gone are the days where it was simply known as the place where you can get a pint for 10p, as it really means so much more to people now, especially those groups who use it on a regular basis.

“I’ve lived in Pontardawe all my life and it’s a lovely area where we’re doing everything we can to make it in to a place that promotes health and well-being, but in order to do that we need to maintain spaces such as this for people.

“We’re currently looking at every option possible to keep it going, and would encourage everyone to keep an eye on our social media pages for the challenges and fundraising events that we’ll be doing. ”

Jill Lord who is a local town councillor in Pontardawe added: “It could be a terrible loss to the community if they were to lose the building and we really hope there is a solution for all the community groups who use it.”


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