The closed Ty-Yn-Y-Pwll Inn in Trethomas could become a vibrant community hub if a charity’s dream is realised.
Connections Community Hub has agreed to purchase the building and has plans to transform it into a café with a difference – a multi-functional hub for the whole community to use, access services and develop ideas.
Matt Parsons, the project lead, said the idea is to create a space for people to take time to relax and socialise.
The café would either be run by the charity, with funds going back into the centre, or by a local company which already operate in the area.
Mr Parsons said: “If we create an environment where people want to come in for a coffee but realise they can access opportunities there, we’ll get a balance between those formally looking for help and the disengaged.
“We know there are a lot of good things going on in the area, but not everyone is accessing them.
“We don’t want to duplicate these projects, but bring them together.”
There will be an IT lounge for informal training and taster sessions, often given by volunteers, and Mr Parsons said this will create the opportunity for people who want further training and advice to be signposted in the right direction.
The project will cost around £1m to complete, including an extension to house a 120 seat auditorium that will also be used as function room.
The function room will be of varied use, possibly as a youth club and for parent and toddler groups, opening the centre up to every generation.
The planned hub will also house an art lounge for creative workshops and a business hub.
Mr Parsons said: “There will be two offices and a hot desk area, making a business hub where businesses can come in and mentor young people who want to start-up their own companies or gain skills.
“We want to introduce the idea in the community that help is available and here in an non-threatening environment.”
The hub is in its early stages and future ideas include possibly opening a food bank.
The charity is waiting to find out if bids for funding from the Big Lottery Fund and the Welsh Government’s Community Facilities Programme have been successful.
Mr Parsons said: “Potentially we could start building in November or December and open late next year or in 2016.
“We are aiming to be sustainable without grants in three to four years from opening.”