Cynon Linc is a vibrant community hub, available to all ages and abilities, set in the heart of Aberdare town centre. It provides a place to eat and socialise, as well as providing spaces for hire and a range of services and facilities available to the local community. It offers a variety of services to help support older people living in the local community and is available to public, third and private sector organisations for hire.
The project to redevelop the former St Mair’s Day Centre into an inclusive community hub was led by a partnership that included Age Connects Morgannwg, Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council, Cwm Taff University Health Board and partners from the third sector and the local community. In August 2018, ACM took over the running of St Mair’s ahead of starting major refurbishment work. Work on the building was completed just 12 months later, ahead of a public opening on 4th October 2021.
The original renovation project was supported by a number of funding bodies. These included The National Lottery Community Fund, Dunhill Medical Trust, Pen Y Cymoedd and The Welsh Government Integrated Care Fund.
What happens there:
- It is the head office of Age Connects Morgannwg. Their information point allows community to access the charity’s services which support and enable older people to live a healthier, more independent life. This includes community support, independent advocacy and befriending, as well as nail cutting and information and advice.
- The Hyb kitchen and coffee shop sits at the heart of the building and offers quality tea and coffee, healthy light bites and full meals.
- Also based at Cynon Linc are Maendy GP Surgery, Simply Nails, Llamau and Signposted Cymru.
What the fund is supporting them with:
The funds will support the growth of business at Cynon Linc so they can generate more income from room hire, sessional play, restaurant sales and events. Specifically, we are supporting the following:
- Growth and diversification of Little Lincs via Little Lincs Play Co-ordinator
- Improvements to outdoor area at Little Lincs
- Improved storage and working space
- Hospitality Manager
- Hub Receptionist
Their vision is for Cynon Linc to be an exemplar community hub that is self-sufficient and a place for everyone. Expectations of Cynon Linc are growing, and this means more staff and development is needed to provide excellent customer service, ensure that the facilities are of the best quality and that the income potential of their stay and play and restaurant is fully realised.
“We have been thrilled to see Cynon Linc succeed over the past couple of years despite the difficult circumstances, and it is obvious that it is a valued and significant hub for many different members of the community. This was a compelling proposal from an organisation structure and strategic business strategy in place. The three jobs that would be generated by this project’s completion will enable them to: • Provide children with all levels of ability with a variety of accessible play activities; • Repurpose Little Linc’s outdoor area into a “garden/nature school” for preschoolers; • Boost bookings and events; • Increase visitor numbers due to new activities across the centre and we hope they continue to prosper.”
Kate Breeze, Executive Director
‘Age Connects Morgannwg is proud and excited to be working in conjunction with Pen y Cymoedd on a Phase 2 Growth Project at our Community Hub, Cynon Linc. The funding we have received from Pen y Cymoedd has enabled us to grow our small core team of staff to include dedicated roles that focus on business growth and income generation from our Hyb Restaurant and Coffee Shop, from our Little Lincs Stay and Play rooms and from conferences, seminars and events in our large function hall.
We aim to make Cynon Linc a sustainable social enterprise. The funding has also allowed us to upgrade and improve the play equipment in our Little Lincs Stay and Play rooms, including new sensory equipment, a large soft play climbing frame and renovating a small kitchen space into an office area for our new full-time Play Co-ordinator, also funded by this grant. We are really excited to be able to use some of the funding to develop our outdoor play space and have worked with the Valleys Regional Park to design a ‘Discovery Garden’ with nature and nurture themed areas that can be enjoyed by all ages. We will also be planting a ‘herb wall’ in the outdoor space, for use in our restaurant dishes. The support we’ve received from Pen y Cymoedd is incredibly important to our growth plans and we look forward to taking this ground-breaking project from strength to strength with this funding.” – Karen Davies, Cynon Linc