Posted: Tue 16th Apr 2024

Former Village School in Carmarthenshire Transformed into Community Hub and Cafe /

A FORMER village school in Carmarthenshire is to be transformed into a community, business and wellness hub and cafe.
The school in Llanybydder dates from Victorian times and was shut for years before being bought in 1997 by Llanybydder Old School Community Centre, a charity. A small gym was opened and some community events take place there.
Now the charity has been awarded nearly £195,000 by Carmarthenshire Council to modernise the building. It will include shared working spaces, and host activities like yoga and fitness. The gym will remain in place.
There’ll also be a “repair cafe” – an area where volunteers will mend clothes, tools and electrical items – plus a traditional cafe serving things like paninis and cakes. Larger events such as film screenings and christening and funeral teas could take place in the main hall area. “It’s whatever the community wants,” explained Llanybydder Old School Community Centre trustee Nicola Doyle. “We’ve got lots of plans for the place.”
She said the revamp would seek to maintain the building’s historic features and while creating something “really high-end” inside. Ms Doyle said a newly-appointed centre manager, Julia Davies, was starting this week.
Carmarthenshire Council’s cabinet awarded the funding, most of which was via its Ten Towns programme to revitalise market towns, at a meeting on April 15. Cllr Ann Davies said a lot research work had been carried out and that the building revamp would be completed by the end of this year. Referring to the Ten Towns programme and its £1 million capital budget, Cllr Alun Lenny said: “I’m very glad that money is being invested into smaller towns.”
Llanybydder councillor Denise Owen said of the project: “I think it’s wonderful for the village to have its old school redeveloped both for social needs and economic development. I really am excited about this.”
Ms Doyle said there were also plans for a community garden outside the building, and allotments, while separate funding is being provided to stage a Celtic folk festival with a Llanybydder twist. “I can see it being really good,” she said.
Meanwhile, cabinet also approved £14,800 of Ten Towns revenue funding for Newcastle Emlyn Town Council to support British Cycling junior national events on June 29 and June 30. The town hosted high-profile bike races in 2022 and 2023. The £14,800 will pay for gazebos, a sound system for local event organisers, and material for the town’s interactive screen for visitors to access.
Mayor of Newcastle Emlyn, Cllr Hazel Evans, said the funding was greatly appreciated. “This helps put the town and area on a national platform to promote us as a holiday destination, which will have an economic benefit,” she said. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Spotted something? Got a story? Email News@News.Wales

More from Carmarthenshire Council

Sewer Burst in Carmarthenshire Village Raises Concerns Over Housing Development

Carmarthenshire Council

Group Continues Fight to Save Village Pub Despite Planning Permission for Conversion

Carmarthenshire Council

Residents of Salem, Carmarthenshire, Rally to Save The Angel Inn

Carmarthenshire Council

Plans Paused to Amalgamate Schools’ Governing Bodies in Carmarthenshire

Carmarthenshire Council

New Drive-Through McDonald’s Nears Approval in Carmarthenshire

Carmarthenshire Council

Owner of Loss-Making Village Pub Criticises Local Group’s Takeover Bid

Carmarthenshire Council

Latest from News.Wales

Public Consultation Launched for ‘No-Gas’ Housing Development Near Maesteg

Bridgend Council

Opponents of Proposed “Super-Estate” in Wrexham Call for Public Meeting

Wrexham Council

Disused Newport leisure centre deemed safe by council officials

Newport Council

Plans Revealed for Fourth Phase of Rhondda Fach Active Travel Route

Rhondda Council

Fear of Diluted Local Voice in Vale of Glamorgan Community Council Changes

Vale of Glamorgan Council

Smallest School in Rhondda Cynon Taf to Close Despite Strong Opposition

Rhondda Council