Canolfan Pennar, the new Mountain Ash Community Hub, has welcomed more than 37,000 visitors since it officially opened its doors in June. 

Based on the site of the former Mountain Ash Day Centre in Oxford Street, the ‘Hub’ offers local residents improved access to a range of Council services and has fast become a focal point in the community.

It also incorporates the brand-new town library, which has been relocated from nearby Knight Street and has seen an increase of 220 new members since doing so in June.

In the three months June to August, the new Mountain Ash Library has welcomed 21,117 visitors, compared to 10,929 visitors at the former premises, the same period in 2018.

Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “Canolfan Pennar Community Hub in Mountain Ash is a huge success, and this has been replicated with the opening of the Ferndale Community Hub.

“I am delighted that the Canolfan Pennar Community Hub has been well received by the public. It is always a great hive of activity and welcomed 37,713 visitors in its first three months of opening.

“The town library has also seem a huge increase in footfall and new membership as a result of its relocation to the Community Hub and the extended opening hours.”

Canolfan Pennar Community Hub opened its doors in June, with performances from local schoolchildren, under the musical direction of Libby Young. Among those attending was television and radio personality Roy Noble OBE.

The Hub also incorporates tributes to the late Bernard Baldwin MBE, founder of the world-famous Nos Galan Road Races, and the late Dr Elaine Morgan OBE, an award-winning author, television writer, playwright and newspaper columnist. Both individuals had previously been granted the Freedom of Rhondda Cynon Taf by the local authority.

The Little Rose Café, which has been a staple choice for many locals in Mountain Ash for many years, has also relocated to Canolfan Pennar, and is attracting more customers than ever before.

Canolfan Pennar is also home to the official Nos Galan Exhibition, which is situated adjacent to the Elaine Morgan Community Room.

The use of the meeting rooms and training rooms are free of charge to community groups and non-profit organisations. Commercial organisations are also able to hire the rooms at reasonable rates. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the building. 

The Local Payment Point also allows residents to pop in and pay for a range of Council services, including Council Tax and Business Rates. 

Councillor Rhys Lewis, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Well-being and Cultural Services, said: “Our Hubs benefit local residents by providing better access to an improved range of Council services, all under one roof.

“The Council’s Community Hubs are bringing communities together and services they value closer to them.

“The Community Hub model is something the Council will be progressing over the next few years. It is our intention to roll out at least 10 of these facilities across RCT, where they will form a crucial part of our wider neighbourhood networks in connecting the Council not only with our residents, but also with other not-for-profit, voluntary and third sector providers.

“By creating opportunities for community integration and interaction, then we can create an attractive environment that is conducive to combating loneliness and social isolation, issues which transcend age groups and social backgrounds.”

Canolfan Pennar Community Hub is situated in Oxford Street, Mountain Ash, CF45 3HD 

Posted on Tuesday 17th September 2019

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