BMI History Timeline

1925

The final stones on the front of the building were laid on 4th December 1925. Originally opened as a single storey snooker hall it was owned by the Coal Industry and the Social Welfare Organisation and paid for out of the Oakdale Miners’ wages at 3d a week.

1936

In this year two further floors are 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.

1989

The building fell in to disrepair in the 1970s/1980s with the pit closures and in this year the trustees sold it to Islwyn Borough Council who promised to make it available for community use.

1992

The building reopens 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 school children perform on the same stage as Ken Dodd, Jasper Carrott and the Welsh National Opera.

Present

The building is currently one of the busiest and most vibrant performing arts venues in South Wales, presenting over 40 shows a season ranging from well-known household names to productions staged by groups based in the local community. The annual pantomime alone attracts a total audience of over eleven thousand people.

Visitors to Blackwood can't fail to have noticed that work is well and truly underway on the current £750,000 revamp at Blackwood Miners' Institute! Back in June 2011, Caerphilly County Borough Council's Cabinet approved the works, which will give our much-loved 'Stute a new bill of health... and the works are very much underway!  During the autumn/winter season 2011 we replaced the roof and made the building weathertight, cleaned and repointed the front façade, and started some internal refurbishments.  In January 2012 we will complete a major phase of the works including replacing the seating in the auditorium, and complete internal decoration to the auditorium, reception and foyer areas.