Leasehold deal means day centre plans move step closer
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