NHS: Tredegar building to tell story of Aneurin Bevan's inspiration

Number 10 The Circle

image copyrightCoalfields Regeneration Trust

A building that was pivotal in the formation of the NHS opens to the public later and it is hoped it will help rejuvenate a Blaenau Gwent town.

Number 10, The Circle, was home to the Tredegar Medical Aid Society, which was used as a blueprint by Aneurin Bevan when he set up the National Health Service for the UK in 1948.

However, the building became derelict.

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust bought it in 2019 and hopes it will make Tredegar a “destination town”.

“This small but important building helped pioneer healthcare as we know it today,” the trust said.

“The NHS has been vital in the fight against Covid-19 and now more than ever we should celebrate the role a Welsh town played in helping inspire the creation of this vitally important service.”

Set up in 1890, the Tredegar Medical Aid Society aimed to provide healthcare free at the point of use for coal and iron workers and their families.

Tredegar Medical Aid Society sign

Despite the legacy it left, the building on The Circle was neglected, with Mr Bevan’s old office turned into a store room and old artefacts left scattered around.

Now, after being given a new lease of life through a £500,000 investment, it will celebrate the social and political history of the town.

As well as explaining to visitors the history of the NHS, the new heritage centre will direct them to other nearby landmarks such as Bedwellty House, the Chartist Cave and the Aneurin Bevan memorial stones.

Bedwellty House

image copyrightIan S / Geograph

“The Coalfields Regeneration Trust purchased the building in recognition of its huge importance to the history of Tredegar and the formation of the NHS and its potential as a heritage centre to tell a great story and to help regenerate the town centre,” said head of operations Alun Taylor.

Set up to support former mining communities across the UK, the trust is planning similar initiatives in towns across the valleys.

Number 10 The Circle

image copyrightCoalfields Regeneration Trust

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