NEWPORT council has handed the keys of the city's indoor bowls centre to a local members' association for the next decade.

Councillors have agreed a 10-year lease with the trustees of Newport Indoor Bowling Association, giving them more control of the centre and more "income generating opportunities".

These could include proposals to sublet the centre, which is next to Glebelands Park in St Julians, to third party organisations such as a shop or cafe.

Allowing the association to offer its facilities for activities other than bowling could boost its "involvement in the local community", a council report notes.

The association currently occupy the centre by way of a management agreement, but under those terms it would not have been able to open other facilities at the site.

The rent agreement will rise from £15,000 to a proposed £23,000 each year for the next five years, after which the council will review the figure.

The city council will continue to hold maintenance responsibilities for the building's exterior and car park, and will also be allowed to hold community events at the centre.

Cllrs Laura Lacey and Debbie Harvey, the cabinet members for infrastructure and community, respectively, approved the lease agreement on Monday.