BARONESS Kay Andrews OBE recently visited Newbridge Memorial Hall and Institute as part of her aim to combat poverty in Wales.

Following her visit to Risca Palace Library and Hanbury Chapel Library in Bargoed, the Baroness travelled to Newbridge to tour the new library facility at Newbridge Memo and learn about the refurbishment project which will bring the Institute and Memorial Hall back into community use.

Baroness Andrews has been asked by the Minister for Culture and Sport, John Griffiths AM, to recommend ways in which cultural and heritage bodies can contribute to reducing poverty.

During her visit, the Baroness received a tour of the library facilities, the refurbished offices, entertainment rooms, and the old ballroom and cinema.

Members of the Board of Trustees for Newbridge Memo told Baroness Andrews their plans for memo and their hopes that it will once again become a much loved and used community facility.

“The Memo was the heart of Newbridge for many years and it is wonderful that it will be restored to its former glory but with an even broader role in the community,” said the Tredegar-born Baroness.

“I congratulate everyone involved in this project and look forward to returning to visit once the Memo is completed. My report will be focussed on how cultural and other bodies can link up better to improve people’s lives and Newbridge, as well as Bargoed, Risca and others, are excellent examples of that.”

Howard Stone, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Newbridge Memo, said: “The Trustees and Supporters of the Newbridge Memo project welcomed the Baronesses visit and appreciate her support.

“It has been a very long 10 years involving many volunteers and supporters who are now within sight of the completion of the Restoration which will give Newbridge and enviable venue for all to enjoy.”

Cllr Ken James, cabinet member for Regeneration, Sustainable Development and Planning, said: “The restoration of Newbridge Memo forms part of the £12 million regeneration of Newbridge Town Centre. Regeneration of communities is not just about improving the streetscape but also ensuring there are resources and facilities that the community can enjoy benefit from.”