The Gwyn Hall is a prominent building in Neath's townscape, set back from the road, built 1887-89 by John Norton of London costing £6,000 on a site donated by Howel Gwyn. The exterior is Gothic, a two-storey building in seven bays of snecked masonry with ashlar dressings. Steeply pitched slate roof with gables and a plain eaves band. Stair turrets to outer bays, the left hand turret rises to eaves with tall pyramidal roof, while the right hand turret is gabled. A striking contemporary glass box added in front of the facade in 2012 to provide increased space for the entrance lobby and cafe.
The Hall had served as a public hall and municipal offices from its opening. By 2007 £4m refurbishment scheme was underway when fire broke out, causing severe damage. The council remained committed to restoring the theatre and following a feasibility study in 2008 it was agreed that a newer, bigger scheme would proceed, retaining as much of the original detail as possible and providing new state-of-the-art facilities within the building. The £8m project started in 2009 and the Hall re-opened in March 2012.
The interior of the building has been re-arranged from the original 750-seat public hall, and now contains a 393-seat theatre on the ground floor, 73-seat 'Cinema Pod', 140-seat studio space, as well as the new lobby and cafe, and gallery space.
- 1889 - 2007: as hall and meeting rooms.
- 2012 : continuing, as theatre and community arts centre.
- 1889 Design/Construction:John Norton- Architect
- 1889 - 2007 Use: as hall and meeting rooms.
- 1996 Owner/Management: County Borough of Neath & Port Talbot
- 2007 Alteration: damaged by fire during £4m restoration works.
- 2009 - 2012 Alteration: Major refurbishment (£8m) following fire damage.Holder Mathias Architects- Architect
- 2012 Use: continuing, as theatre and community arts centre.
- CapacityCurrentDescription73CommentCinema Pod