A NEW community hub will be opening in the Amman Valley after six years of work.

The former Cwmgors Primary School building in Cwmgors closed in 2015 and was bought by local energy charity Awel Aman Tawe (AAT) in 2018.

The charity had plans to turn the building into a net zero community hub and have spent the past six years realising their dreams to create Hwb y Gors.

The Hwb has been renovated and will offer a space for the community and local businesses, a co-working space, educational facilities and a community café. There will also be a community electric transport scheme operating from the Hwb. It will also offer activities including heritage crafts, low carbon and educational programmes and garden and wildlife projects. The monthly repair café and fortnightly stitch clubs run by AAT will relocate to the space once it opens. It will also be a warm space for those struggling to heat their homes and will have ‘super-fast’ WiFi, events and good company.

The Hwb will be a flagship centre for decarbonisation and aims to build foundations in the Amman and Swansea valleys for green economy. The building will be powered with 90kw solar panels and will have a 50kw ground source heating system and 20kw of battery storage on site, as it plans to achieve net zero status.

Emily Hinshelwood, Awel Aman Tawe’s creative director, said: “This is a huge support for Hwb y Gors and our community. We are so excited to be retrofitting such a beloved school building which has over 100 years of memories. During the construction work, we have made it our job to protect those memories and bring the building back into the community with the care that it deserves.

“We’ve been lucky to work with skilled local contractors, Just in Time, and also with artists, craftspeople and many members of the community who have been involved with creating stained glass, tiles and textiles for the building.”

Cllr Jeremy Hurley, Neath Port Talbot Council’s cabinet member for climate change and economic growth, said: “It is fantastic to see two of Neath Port Talbot Council’s SPF grants working together to support this exemplar project for the Upper Amman Valley.

“It is great to see the former primary school building being brought back into use for the local community and I would encourage everyone to use the services on offer at the Hwb when they open in the spring.”

The last part of the Hwb project was funded in part by £185,000 from the Neath Port Talbot Council’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund Valleys and Villages Prosperity Fund and £65,000 from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund Third Sector Growth Fund through Neath Port Talbot Council for Voluntary Service.