The Metropole, Abertillery
The History of the Metropole –
The Story of an Institution
The Met, originally known as the Metropole Theatre and Dance Hall, has had a significant role in the History of Abertillery, since it’s construction in 1892, and has always been recognised as a hub in the cultural life of the community.
In the 1920’s Abertillery was the second largest town in the county of Monmouthshire, second only to Newport .At this time it’s population was an incredible 40,000, due to the expansion of the coal mining industry in the area. This growth meant that many new houses were built and most importantly a new Theatre and Dance Hall – The Metropole.
Along with other businessmen of the time, the entrepreneur who is most associated with the Metropole is a gentleman by the name of Charles John Seaborne, who had connections with the building up until 1952, when it was then acquired by the local District Council.
In it’s hey day The Met’ (as it is known locally) had a fantastic ballroom and dance floor, a Victorian Theatre, where many famous names performed – Charlie Chaplin amongst them, and in later years an indoor market and cinema.
Over the years the coal mining industry effectively disappeared and the town’s prosperity declined. In the late 1990’s the Met fell into disrepair and the building (apart from the ground floor which houses the Abertillery and District Museum) had to close due to structural problems.
The regeneration of Abertillery is high on the agenda for Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, and thanks to tireless efforts of local Councillors, local Societies and Organisations and Officers of the Council, the Met was successful in obtaining funding from a number of sources – The Welsh Assembly Government, Heads of the Valley Fund and the Wales Arts Council being the main bodies, which meant that the building could be completely refurbished as it is today.
The Met is once more recognised as the centre for Cultural events, activities and performances in Abertillery, as well as operating as a successful Conference and Meeting venue. Along with the professional artists, local societies and businesses which utilise the excellent facilities, the building is a base for FFIN Dance as the Dance Company in Residence, and has forged links with cultural organisations in Europe, who visit and perform regularly at the venue.
Recognition of the building’s superb facilities and place in the Community, was made when the Business was the proud recipient of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors “Building Which Most Benefits A Community “ all Wales award in 2008.
|Cyfeiriad/Address||Mitre Street, Abertillery, Blaenau Gwent NP13 1Al|
|Programming & Marketing||Suzanne Allen, Suzanne.Allen@aneurinleisure.org.uk|
|Box Office & Administration||Jackie Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Technical||Joe Tulloch, email@example.com|