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Cabinet agree to St Mairs Day Centre asset transfer

Cabinet have agreed a 99-year leasehold transfer of St Mairs Day Centre in Aberdare to Age Connects Morgannwg (ACM), which has £1.1m plans to improve the service.

The local older people’s charity wants to transform the Centre into a new community hub, offering a much wider range of services. In July, Cabinet agreed to ACM undertaking a consultation process ahead of making a funding bid for the redevelopment of St Mairs.

Cabinet discussed transferring St Mairs to ACM through its #RCTtogether approach at a meeting on September 19. The transfer is subject to ACM receiving £1.1m Big Lottery funding – a decision to be made in February 2018. It is also be dependent upon an agreement to relocate St Mairs current Community Meals provision to an alternative location.

Councillor Geraint Hopkins, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult and Children’s Community Services, said: “A report Cabinet considered outlines the exciting plans which Age Connects Morgannwg has to deliver vast improvements to the building, and provide an improved service to not only people over the age of 50 but to wider communities in the Cynon Valley.

“The services offered at St Mairs are highly-valued by its users – and this opportunity with Age Connects Morgannwg will allow those services to further expand and extend to a wider reach within local communities.”

Councillor Rhys Lewis, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Prosperity and Wellbeing, said: “Cabinet agreed that St Mairs will be transferred via the capital asset transfer process. It promises to be the latest success story for the #RCTtogether approach, where the Council works with communities and the voluntary sector to explore the alternative delivery of services, while securing their future.”

Rachel Rowlands, Chief Executive of Age Connects Morgannwg, added: “Age Connects is delighted to receive a further endorsement by Cabinet members of its Cynon Linc proposals to transform St Mairs Day Centre into a modern, accessible and sustainable community resource. 

“Our proposals have been supported by the current users of St Mairs, the general public and third sector partners who each have a vital role to play in the project's success. 

“The approval of a 99 year lease by Cabinet means that Age Connects Morgannwg will have  the confidence and security to plan for the long term,  in partnership with the community, ensuring that the project delivers improved services and impact for future generations of people living in Aberdare and the surrounding area.”

Cynon Linc would include a social enterprise bistro providing healthy meals and snacks, which would be open to the whole community. There would be a community space for local groups to hire, alongside a hall for events.

An outdoor courtyard would be used as a community garden to support an inter-generational gardening club, which would grow produce for the bistro.

The building would become head office for Age Connects Morgannwg so people can easily access its services – including Community Outreach, Befriending, and an Information and Advice team offering general and specialist advice for older people.

A fee-paying childcare facility for babies and 2-3 year-olds would be provided, while plans to relocate Maendy GP Practice are being progressed.

Posted on Friday 22nd September 2017