Lease­hold deal means day cen­tre plans move step closer

Cynon Valley - - YOUR NEWS - TOM HOUGHTON tom.houghton@waleson­

MIL­LION-POUND plans to trans­form a day cen­tre in Aberdare into a com­mu­nity hub are a step closer to be­com­ing a re­al­ity after a lease­hold trans­fer was agreed.

Age Con­nects Mor­gan­nwg wants to go ahead with £1.1m plans to im­prove the St Mairs Day Cen­tre into a ‘Cynon Linc,’ and of­fer a much wider range of ser­vices.

If plans go ahead, the new ser­vice would in­clude a so­cial en­ter­prise bistro pro­vid­ing healthy meals and snacks, open to the whole com­mu­nity.

There would be a com­mu­nity space for lo­cal groups to hire, along­side a hall for events.

An out­door court­yard would be used as a com­mu­nity gar­den to sup­port an in­ter-gen­er­a­tional gar­den­ing club, which would grow pro­duce for the bistro.

The build­ing would also be­come head of­fice for Age Con­nects Mor­gan­nwg for easy ac­cess to its ser­vices.

A fee-paying child­care fa­cil­ity for ba­bies and two to three-year-olds would also be pro­vided, while plans to re­lo­cate Maendy GP Prac­tice are be­ing pro­gressed.

It is now just sub­ject to ACM re­ceiv­ing the money in Big Lot­tery fund­ing, and a de­ci­sion on that will be made in Fe­bru­ary 2018.

It will also be de­pen­dent upon an agree­ment to re­lo­cate St Mairs cur­rent com­mu­nity meals pro­vi­sion to an al­ter­na­tive lo­ca­tion.

Rachel Row­lands, chief ex­ec­u­tive of ACM, added: “Age Con­nects is de­lighted to re­ceive a fur­ther en­dorse­ment by cab­i­net mem­bers of its Cynon Linc pro­pos­als to trans­form St Mairs Day Cen­tre into a mod­ern, ac­ces­si­ble and sus­tain­able com­mu­nity re­source.

“Our pro­pos­als have been sup­ported by the cur­rent users of St Mairs, the gen­eral public and third sec­tor part­ners who each have a vi­tal role to play in the project’s suc­cess.

“The ap­proval of a 99year lease by cab­i­net means that Age Con­nects Mor­gan­nwg will have the con­fi­dence and se­cu­rity to plan for the long term, in part­ner­ship with the com­mu­nity, en­sur­ing that the project de­liv­ers im­proved ser­vices and im­pact for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions of peo­ple liv­ing in Aberdare and the sur­round­ing area.”

Coun­cil­lor Geraint Hop­kins, Rhondda Cynon Taf Coun­cil’s cab­i­net mem­ber adult and chil­dren’s com­mu­nity ser­vices, said: “A re­port cab­i­net con­sid­ered out­lines the ex­cit­ing plans which Age Con­nects Mor­gan­nwg has to de­liver vast im­prove­ments to the build­ing, and pro­vide an im­proved ser­vice to not only peo­ple over the age of 50 but to wider com­mu­ni­ties in the Cynon Val­ley.

“The ser­vices of­fered at St Mairs are highly-val­ued by its users – and this op­por­tu­nity with Age Con­nects Mor­gan­nwg will al­low those ser­vices to fur­ther ex­pand and ex­tend to a wider reach within lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.” for

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