A POPULAR social centre in Cwmbran is set to be taken over by the community – saving Torfaen council more than £60,000 a year.
A group of community council members, sports and social club users and volunteers will assume responsibility of Woodland Road Sports and Social Centre from April.
The local authority will offer initial support and training, with Cwmbran Community Council taking on some of the legal responsibilities in the short term.
The council has to reduce its budget for 2014/15 by £11.2 million due to government funding cuts and service pressures.
The chairman of the community council, Colin Crick, said: “Planning has already begun and a business plan is being prepared with the aim of developing this busy sports and social centre into an even more attractive and thriving hub for a wide range of activities for all ages and interests with local people playing a pivotal part in its development.
“This is an exciting opportunity to acquire this site for the community and ensure its long term future.”
In the first operational year, the business plan will allow the new partnership to explore the possibility of taking over the whole site, while honouring current agreements with sports clubs that use the pitches at the centre. The long-term aim is said to be to make it a self-sustaining community-owned facility.
The chairman of Croesyceiliog Sports and Social Club, Bob High, said: “Apart from being a popular venue for weddings, birthdays and social events, it is regularly used by drama and dance groups, choirs, and provides classes for exercise and sport such as kickboxing.
“It hosts a child contact centre, the University of the Third Age, a Gateway Club for people with learning disabilities, a men’s club for those with mental health issues and a well-attended playgroup.
“These are just a few of the users at Woodland Road.”
For more information about the Sports and Social Centre, contact councillor Richard Clark on 07894 685947.