This is the first dedicated World Heritage Centre in the UK and is the focal point for the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape World Heritage Site. The Visitor Centre combines video presentations, interactive touch screen monitors and oral history with more traditional displays to explain the leading role that Blaenavon and South Wales played in the formative years of the Industrial Revolution. The centre will be a fun and educational place to visit for families, educational groups and those wanting to know more about the features that make up the 33,000 hectares of heritage landscape around the Centre.
The World Heritage Centre will be housed in the carefully restored Grade II* St. Peter’s School. The school was built in 1816 by Sarah Hopkins in memory of her brother the ironmaster, Samuel Hopkins. She made history, as St. Peter’s school was the first purpose built school in Wales to be established by an industrial employer for the benefit of the children of the workers. Work began on restoring the building early in 2005 with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. Blaenavon World Heritage Centre is situated in the heart of the historic iron town and will open in early 2007.