A NEW 'community pod' has been installed in a Penarth community.

The pod has been placed in St Luke’s Avenue by the Vale council for a Penarth residents’ group.

The community pod is a small building given over to the community to use for activities and workshops - in this case, the Saints Tenants and Residents (STAR) Association.

The association is made up of people living in the St Luke’s Avenue, St Paul’s Avenue, St Peter’s Road and St James’ Court area of the town.

Their previous pod had no electricity or running water and had become dilapidated, so a new facility was needed for community events and meetings.

The new pod contains kitchen facilities and a toilet, which will allow a wider range of activities to be provided.

Wi-fi is next to be installed, offering local residents access to the internet.

Local councillors Mark Wilson and Lis Burnett were among those that attended the opening of the pod along with the council’s head of housing, Mike Ingram.

Cllr Burnett said: “Buildings such as this play a vital role within a community, offering a place for residents to meet and hold events.

“I’m delighted that we have been able to provide local residents with a new pod, kitted out with improved facilities, and I’m sure the residents’ association will soon be organising a range of activities.”

Youngsters from the area have been asked to help design a mural for the pod and the surrounding area will be landscaped to improve its appearance.

Sessions run at the pod will cover digital inclusion, employment and training, health and wellbeing, and money advice and budgeting.

STAR Association chairwoman Gina Doyle said: “Our old pod was really old and could only hold about 12 to 15 people. There was no power or water so we had to boil water at home for tea and coffee.

“The new one has a sink, microwave and we’re getting a fridge. It can hold up to 30 people and the children are going to help paint it. It’s so much better and we’re really grateful.”