PROPOSALS to revive a former church building left abandoned for years have been revealed.
The Vale of Glamorgan Council's project board has announced that Newydd Housing Association has been selected as its preferred bidder to undertake the development of the previously popular St Paul’s Church site in Penarth.
In February, the council's cabinet agreed to sell off the land in a bid to provide social housing and a community facility at the site, with one of the council's four registered social landlords.
St Paul's, based on Arcot Street, has been empty since 2011 when Penarth Amateur Boxing Club and Penarth Gymnastics Club were forced to leave the premises on health and safety grounds.
Newydd’s proposed scheme is a 300 square metre ground floor community facility, and a development of affordable homes.
It will be subject to a public consultation before undergoing the usual planning process.
A "concept drawing" of how the building could look has now been, with more detailed plans expected in due course.
A council report recently called the re-use of the building a "key challenge" for the local authority.
An organisation called the Community Interest Company (CIC) previously submitted plans for a gym, fitness studio, auditorium and cafe at the site after the council appointed Savills estate agents to find a new occupier in October 2014.
But these were rejected in December 2015 due what the council saw as a lack of a viable business case.
The council says the latest proposals aim to deliver a sustainable mixed use development that retains the façade of the church and respect the local sense of place.
Paul Roberts, Newydd’s chief executive, said: "We are delighted to have been selected as the council’s preferred bidder and are planning to hold a consultation event to explore ideas for the use of the ground floor community facility."
Councillor Lis Burnett, deputy leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, and the cabinet member for regeneration and education, said: "I'm delighted that we have a good quality solution that provides much needed community space for the area.
"I'm particularly pleased that local people will be involved in the development of the facilities.
"It has taken a while but feel we now have a proposal that will enhance the area."