Blackwood Miners’ Institute

Blackwood Miners’ Institute is a multipurpose, professional performing arts centre and an iconic, historical landmark situated in the heart of the South East Valleys. Today it is one of the busiest and most vibrant theatres in South Wales.


Blackwood Miners’ Institute has undergone several transformations to become the thriving arts and entertainment venue that it is today.

Built in 1925 as a single-story snooker hall, Blackwood Miners’ Welfare Institute and Library was originally owned by the Coal Industry and the Social Welfare Organisation and was paid for out of the Oakdale Miners’ wages at 3d a week.

In 1936, two further floors were added to the building to include the stage, auditorium, dance floor, reading room, library, ladies room and rehearsal rooms for local societies.

Original events staged in the building included tea dances, snooker/billiards, reading groups, rehearsals and union meetings for local miners.

After falling into disrepair in the 1970s-1980s and following many of the local pit closures, the building was conveyed Islwyn Council as a charitable trust in 1990.

It was refurbished and reopened in February 1992 as a community arts and entertainment venue thanks to funding from Islwyn Borough Council and the Welsh Office. The opening series of concerts saw local schoolchildren perform on the same stage as Ken Dodd, Jasper Carrott and Welsh National Opera.

Blackwood Miners’ Institute is a charitable trust which is managed as part of the Theatre and Arts Service of Caerphilly County Borough Council.

In 2010, Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Cabinet invested £1.6m in a complete refurbishment. Carried out over four years, the work was funded from the local authority’s Asset Management Fund.

Blackwood Miners’ Institute receives funding support from Caerphilly County Borough Council. In 2015, Blackwood Miners’ Institute was awarded Arts Portfolio status by the Arts Council of Wales.

Blackwood Miners’ Institute is a Grade II* listed building and has charitable status.

Essential information

High Street, Blackwood
NP12 1BB
Contact Name
Eloise Tong
Email Address
01495 227206
CTA Member

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