Church aiming to give club a new beginning
A PORT Talbot church has revealed plans to transform a derelict social club into a new community facility.
Baglan Social Club was boarded up in January after its committee was forced to close it due to low attendance.
But the building, which has been standing idle while it has been on the market, is now going to be given a new lease of life inside and out.
It is believed that Baglan Community Church — which was set up in September 2002 — is the first church in nearly 40 years to purchase or construct a building in Port Talbot.
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Church pastor Neil Tallamy said they aim bring the Lodge Drive club back into the heart of the community.
"Our aim is to transform the building, into something that the people of Baglan will be proud of," he said.
"It will take us some time though and will be dependent on the amount of money we are able to raise.
"The centre will include a top class concert hall to seat upwards of 400, a couple of mid-sized rooms which local groups will be able to use, and a quality coffee shop.
"The church will also run activities throughout the week and services on a Sunday at 10.30am and 6pm.
"The club was once seen as the centre of the community and we hope that once again it will become a hive of wonderful community activity.
"Above all, we want it to be a place where people are able to enjoy friendship, acceptance, hope and life to the full."
Mr Tallamy said the church, which has 150 members and is currently based at Baglan Community Centre, is now looking into ways they can fund their project.
"We have a little money left after the purchase of the building which will enable us to carry out some work," he said.
"But for the extensive renovation we are hoping to undertake we are dependent on grant funding which we have applied for."
He added: "For decades now church buildings have been closing down and have been demolished or turned into pubs, restaurants and flats.
"So it is fantastic to see a building that could no longer keep its doors open as a club being turned into a centre for the community by a church.
"We really are passionate as a church about making a difference in people's lives.
"We hope to announce soon when we intend to re-open the building."