A VALLEYS club is set to get a new lease of life after it was handed over to the local rugby club.

Llanhilleth Workingmen's Club has remained empty since the club stopped trading in January last year.

The boarded up building has suffered vandalism and an attempted break-in several weeks ago.

The club and pavilion is owned by Blaenau Gwent council and was originally let to Llanhilleth Workingmen's Club.

The council said the club closed owing it a sum of money and after a series of arguments over landlord and tenant legislation the council managed to take possession of the building again in April.

Since then the council had rates and building insurance to pay on the building.

The council had interest in the building in the past from different groups and they were contacted again in April to see if they were still interested..

A report by the council's estates department said Llanhilleth Athletic AFC was no longer interested after moving to the Llanhilleth Hotel and St Illtyd's Communities First Partnership did not respond.

But Llanhilleth RFC did express a firm interest in using the building as its main club house as it already uses the pavilion and rugby pitch nearby.

The council's executive members agreed to grant the lase of the building to Llanhilleth RFC at a meeting on Wednesday for it to become its club house.

The lease will take into account the cost of the rugby club having to clear out the building, redecorate it and carry out any repairs.

Council leader and Llanhilleth councillor Hedley McCarthy said he welcomed the move and said it is the best option and the option most likely to be sustainable.

Fellow ward councillor Jim McIIwee said it is important the building gets up and running as soon as possible.