Agenda Item No


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment): 17th January, 2012


Report of the Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration


St. Paul's Church, Penarth


Purpose of the Report

1.             The purpose of this report is to update the Committee on the situation with the former St. Paul's Church in Penarth as requested by Councillor Chris Williams.  


1.         That the Scrutiny Committee notes the contents of the report.

Reason for the Recommendation

1.             To keep the committee informed of developments regarding St. Paul's Church.


2.             Councillor Williams request for a report stated the following.  "Penarth Gymnastics Club has vacated the Pier Pavilion to allow for its development.  As a result, they are currently housed in an industrial unit in Barry which has high rental costs of approximately £20,000 a year.  If they do not hear very soon if another venue at lower cost can be found for them in Penarth, they will have to commit themselves for a further year in Barry with attendant costs.

3.             They desire a return to the proposed venue for their Club in Penarth, sharing St. Paul's building with the Boxing Club.  The Clubs having jointly commissioned a survey on the condition of that building, which has indicated a repair cost much lower than the Vale of Glamorgan Council's figure when the Boxing Club was made to leave that building because of health and safety issues.  However, there have been no recent negotiations with the Vale of Glamorgan on these figures or progress to undertake the repair.  Without further urgent discussions and support from the Vale of Glamorgan Council, it will be impossible for both Clubs to proceed with the necessary grant applications to restore this building. 

4.             I therefore request an urgent report on the current state of:

Negotiations between the Vale of Glamorgan Council and the Gym Club to enable their rapid return to Penarth and avoidance of high rental costs.

Negotiations with both the Boxing and Gym Clubs over the future of St. Paul's building and its restoration and repair. "

Relevant Issues and Options

5.             The most recent meeting with representatives of the Penarth Gymnastics Club and Penarth Boxing Club was held with Council officers on 18th October 2011.  Following this meeting a further meeting was arranged on 22nd November 2011 between Nick Chandler, representing the Clubs, the Council's Structural Engineer, Mr. Gareth Bissett, and the Operational Manager for Leisure and Tourism, David Knevett, to discuss the differences of opinion that exist in terms of the scope of the work and the likely costs to restore St. Paul's into a usable space for both Clubs.

6.             Following this meeting, the Council's Major Projects Team has appointed a Conservation Architect to undertake a study of the building and to meet with both Mr. Chandler and Mr. Bissett to independently ascertain the likely scope of works required and the estimated cost of works required. 

7.             Following the completion of this report, a further report to Cabinet outlining options for the building will be produced. 

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

8.             There is presently no funding specifically allocated for the restoration of the facility.  A funding mix involving potential Section 106 funds from the Penarth Heights development, a grant from Sport Wales and funds from the Council's own resources has previously been suggested as a possible solution if the cost of the repairs required are considered viable.        

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

9.             Whilst there are no direct legal implications arising from this report, there are likely to be significant legal implications in the future if it is decided that it is feasible for the site to be developed for use by the Clubs. 

Crime and Disorder Implications

10.        None as a direct result of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

11.        None as a direct result of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

12.        The Council's vision for the Vale is that it is a place that is safe, clean and attractive with individuals and communities of sustainable opportunities to improve their health, learning and skills, prosperity and wellbeing.   

Policy Framework and Budget

13.        This report is in accordance with the Council's constitution.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

14.        Councillor Sophie Williams stated that:

"I do believe we should be doing everything we can to see if we can relocate the gym club, IF we have the ability to do so at a reasonable and low cost.  The work they do with young people in Penarth is second to none and if there is an opportunity for them to raise the funds personally to fix up St Pauls to a standard that is acceptable to the Council I would support them doing so.  I do not believe it is the Council's responsibility to maintain private clubs, but we must offer support where we are able to do so."

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

15.        Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

Request for the consideration of matters submitted by Councillor Chris Williams.


Contact Officer

Dave Knevett, Operational Manager Leisure and Tourism, Tel 01446 704817.

Officers Consulted

Legal  - Committee Reports

Finance, ICT and Property - Finance


Responsible Officer:

Rob Quick - Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration.