A DERELICT Grade II listed toilet block has now been spectacularly transformed into a sought-after performance space.

For decades, the Victorian gentlemen’s toilet, in Alexandra Road, Pill, has been viewed as an eyesore to residents since falling into ruin.

But after an eye-watering £40,000 refurbishment by its new owner, the site has now been given a new lease of life as The Phyllis Maud Performance Space.

South Wales Argus:

The Phyllis Maud Performance Space

Owner Janet Martin, who also owns Barnabas Arts House in Pill, believes the site has given a new meaning to the vicinity.

"We have completed the one-year long project to get rid of an eyesore," she said.

"The place was in a very bad way when I took it over.

South Wales Argus:

Owner Janet Martin at the site during the refurbishment

"But I feel that this new performance space will be very important for Newport city. It is here as a facility and people can contact me to hire it.

"I have had interest all over the UK - from Leeds, Birmingham, London and other areas.

"Unjustifiably, Pill has been given a bad name in recent years. Having The Phyllis Maud Performance Space will help change that."

Mrs Martin revealed that she purchased the site after receiving inheritance from an aunt.

"My aunt was called Phyllis Maud and she was a lovely person," said Mrs Martin.

"She died at 96 last year and she had led an interesting life - she knew John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

"My late aunt left me money and I used that money to get this place. I then decided to name it after her."

South Wales Argus:

Mrs Martin said she had already received interest from across the UK from people interested in hiring the site

The Newport resident added that the project almost did not happen, after she lost the initial bid to buy the site.

She said: "In the online auction last year, someone beat me to getting this place.

"I was willing to buy it then for £29,000.

"Thankfully that person later pulled out and I bought it from the council for £15,000."

She added: "I have big plans for this place and I am confident people will like it."

The Phyllis Maud Performance Space has an audience capacity of 25 and it is scheduled to open in the spring.