The original features of the former infirmary are being authentically restored to create a valuable new community hub.

Hunter Plastics is known for its quality drainage, rainwater and plumbing systems above and below ground level, so it’s no surprise that its products have been chosen as part of an ambitious project to restore the renowned Caerphilly District Miners’ Hospital in South Wales.

Built in 1923 and funded by workers from the local coalmines, the hospital served the community's health needs in the Rhymney Valley for almost 90 years until its closure in 2011. Work is now underway to restore and refurbish the building to create a new learning resource centre complete with training facilities, a café, I.T. suite, music and craft rooms.

The idea behind the project, which is being led by the Caerphilly Miners Centre for the Community charity, is that the centre will engage and empower the local community to learn new skills and share learning experiences as well as providing a hub for meetings and local events.

A fundamental part of the refurb is to preserve the heritage of the building and restore as many of its original features as possible to their former glory. Paul Baxter, Assistant Manager of independent builders merchant, Hughes Forrest, worked with lead contractor Gareth Newman of Newman Builders to source the optimum and most innovative materials for the job.

“We recommended Hunter’s Foundry Finish 125mm rainwater system because it provides the aesthetic appearance of authentic cast iron with the durability, ease and effectiveness of a modern drainage solution,” explained Baxter. “Traditional cast iron is expensive, prone to rust and can require regular inspection and painting. Hunter’s Foundry Finish eliminates both of these maintenance requirements whilst at the same time, complementing and enhancing a period-style property.”

The deep, semi-elliptical 125 profile rainwater system with a Foundry Finish effect is a lightweight, cost-effective alternative for cast iron. Manufactured from PVCu, the product is easy to install, as the fixing wings offer fast fixing for hand and power tools.

As PVC doesn’t corrode, Foundry Finish enables a paint free installation. Moreover, the system offers a superior flow rate of up to 4.9 l/s and allows a connection to 68mm and 82mm downpipes for greater installation flexibility.

“We fitted a 68mm downpipe which met the anticipated water flow and our construction requirements,” said Newman. The system complements the visual aesthetics of the building and will ensure that even heavy rain is efficiently carried away from the property. It was quick and easy to install, and it will be easy to maintain too.”

Many years of research, development and testing ensure that quality is built into all Hunter rainwater systems. The company aims for its products to be reliable, adaptable and effective for all types of construction project, from the design and specification phase through to installation and operation. For example, Hunter’s most popular Half Round rainwater system used in the Caerphilly project incorporates pivoted clips that enable ‘clip lock’ assembly to speed up the installation process. ‘Insert to here' marks also allow for thermal movement, ensuring long-term system efficiency.

For more information on Hunter’s quality drainage, rainwater and plumbing solutions, visit