CONTROVERSIAL plans have been dropped to lease the Kymin in Penarth, a former community centre and wedding venue.

Last year Vale of Glamorgan council decided to market the Victorian house and some of the gardens on a long-lease, as a potential restaurant or hotel.

But the plans were criticised as the Kymin is considered to belong to the people of Penarth, and questions were raised about if the community would still be able to use the building.

After receiving no bids which “entirely satisfied” the council, plans have been shelved to dispose of the Kymin. Now, council bosses consider it a similar opportunity to the Pavilion.

Deputy council leader Lis Burnett said: “I would like to thank those who submitted bids for their interest in the Kymin.

“Unfortunately, none completely met our expectations for the building, and following the experience of operating Penarth Pier Pavilion, we have decided to go in a new direction.”

The Vale council took over running the Pavilion earlier this year after the charity previously running it faced financial difficulties. Recently the council has been fixing up the building and is considering turning it into a vibrant arts centre, similar to Chapter in Cardiff.

A new cafe has also opened in the Pavilion, run by the council-owned Big Fresh Catering Company, which also cooks school meals for pupils across the Vale of Glamorgan.

Cllr Burnett said: “Operating the Pavilion has created an opportunity to approach the management of these two buildings collectively.

“We will aim to build on what we have learned from our experience with the Pavilion over the last three months, and the recent public consultation on its future uses, to ensure the Kymin will be of real benefit to local residents.

“It is clear that the people of Penarth care deeply about the historic buildings in their town and we feel just as strongly.

“The challenge is to make sure these iconic locations can operate sustainably and we are open to working collaboratively with local organisations and community groups towards that objective.”

The Kymin was previously run by Penarth town council, until a funding row with the Vale led to the building closing in 2019. Then in September last year, the Vale council deemed the building “surplus to requirements”. The building was marketed for leasing earlier this year.