A DISUSED community centre could be converted to provide a nursery for a Welsh school in Newport.

Ysgol Gymraeg Ifor Hael, in Bettws, was established in 2008 to deliver Welsh education for children aged three to 11, but there is currently no nursery provision on site to fulfil this obligation.

The building cannot take any more children so the city council wants to refurbish the nearby empty Millbrook Community Centre to provide the additional space needed.

The vacant building was closed in 2009 because the council could not afford to fund repairs to its boiler system estimated to cost around £40,000.

Several groups, including Bettws Communities First Partnership, expressed an interest in using it but none were deemed suitable and the council agreed to dispose of the building in February 2011 to save on maintenance costs.

Now the council wants to use Millbrook Community Centre to solve Ifor Hael’s problem.

The authority did consider hiring temporary classrooms or building a bespoke nursery unit to create more room, but a report to councillors says both these options are problematic and expensive.

The council said it recognises using Millbrook Community Centre is not the optimum solution because, although close to the school, is not on the same site.

But says it is the preferred option because it is the most cost effective, reuses a council asset and can satisfy both the school and community’s need if also used as a library for the neighbouring Millbrook Primary School. Local groups may also be able to rent space in the building under the plans.

The proposal is supported by Bettws councillor Kevin Whitehead who responded to the report saying: "It is worth noting that the head teachers of Millbrook and Ysgol Ifor Hael have a good relationship and this bodes well for the success of this exciting proposal.

"It is also a good thing that the broader community will have use of the centre."

A decision is expected in the coming weeks. Any refurbishment work needed will be funded by the council’s 21st Century Schools programme.