A POPULAR social centre threatened with closure has been saved after council chiefs agreed to lease the hub to the community for 21 years.

The Woodland Road Sports and Social Centre in Croesyceiliog faced the axe as Torfaen council moved to save £11 million as part of radical cost-cutting measures in March. But Torfaen council Cabinet agreed this month to lease the hub, paving the way for community members to take over the running of the centre.

The Woodland Road Community Trust will officially take over the reins of the social centre in August.

The charity will consist of a partnership between Croesyceiliog and Llanyrafon Community Council, the Woodland Road Sports Association as well as user groups and local residents.

Councillor Richard Clark, Torfaen council Cabinet member for health, social care and wellbeing, helped with the community transfer.

The Croesyceiliog North ward cllr told the Argus: “Our key focus is the asset for the community.

“The reality is it would have had to shut because nobody else was interested.”

The community transfer is expected to save Torfaen council around £60,000 a year.

Colin Crick, chairman of Croesyceiliog and Llanyrafon Community Council, said: “These facilities provide a platform for a very broad range of community activities.

“All ages are catered for – from pre-school playgroup through chess, zumba and kickboxing to the University of the Third Age.

“The main hall here is a great place for family parties and is popular for wedding dances. Our line dancers and Old-Tyme group keep the floor in shape.”

Torfaen council Cabinet approved the lease transfer on July 8.

A Cabinet report on the lease states: “The transfer of management responsibilities and granting of the lease as outlined in this report is necessary if Woodland Road Social Centre is to survive as an active and thriving community facility, which will be sustainable over an extended period of time.”