Work at Abergavenny school on hold until New Year

ESSENTIAL health and safety work at a former Abergavenny primary school has been delayed until the New Year.

Monmouthshire council’s cabinet agreed last month to spend £56,000 on work to be carried out at the former Park Street primary school building, which closed in 2006 following the biggest shake-up of primary education ever seen in the county and has been empty ever since.

The work is necessary and includes removing asbestos, putting in a new fire alarm and emergency lighting, all of which needs to be done before it can be leased to campaign group Abergavenny Community Centre Ltd, which wants to turn the building into a community centre teaching well-being, a social hub and place to hold activities such as a crèche, drop-in café, luncheon club for pensioners, workshops and support for young people and parents.

ACC has been in negotiations with the county council, which owns the site, for sometime after plans to sell it for £300,000 were shelved in 2011.

The transfer has been held up because of a legal requirement to carry out a number of safety checks.

As the landlord of the building, the council is required to undertake a number of health and safety surveys and any identified remedial works prior to the occupation of the building.

The council has spent around £20,100 to-date removing the deteriorating demountable buildings and dealing with urgent issues and security breaches.

The council agreed to vary the property maintenance capital programme by funding the works from the school’s kitchen maintenance budget.

Following the cabinet’s decision to fund the work, the council’s Strong Communities Select Committee has decided to refer the decision on whether to go ahead to the full council.

A spokesman for Monmouthshire council said: “The next meeting of the full council will not take place until early in the new year, and therefore no further action can be taken until then.”

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