SENIOR councillors have said there is “no intention to close” a community farm, but changes will need to be made to ensure its long-term future.

Fears for the future of Greenmeadow Community Farm in Cwmbran were expressed after Torfaen council set out plans to withdraw £200,000 from its budgets.

But at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, councillors said they were keen to ensure the farm has a long-term future and that losing it would be “an unacceptable option.”

A group of cabinet members and council officers will now be set up to consider how the farm can be run on a “sustainable footing.”

This could include changing what is on offer at the farm, with the possibility of a soft play centre and increasing events among options to be considered.

Disposing of surplus land to re-invest in the farm will also be considered, alongside proposed changes to staffing and to opening hours.

Cllr David Daniels said the council wished to see the farm “flourish”, but that changes will need to be made.

He said: “We have to make this place sustainable because the message that’s loud and clear, and is echoed in our report, is that the public value the place and that losing it would be an unacceptable option.

“To do that and to safeguard its future we have to look at repurposing it and ways of developing the place and giving a new offer to the public.”

Cllr Mandy Owen said “there is no intention to close the farm and we all want to ensure its long-term sustainability.”

Keith Rutherford, chief officer for social care and housing, said parts of the farm look “incredibly shabby” and that it is “very visible there has been no investment”.

“The farm has got to change, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that,” Mr Rutherford said.

“It’s got to change in terms of its current offer. I just do not think it’s got any real purpose in terms of how it generally is.”

Council leader, Cllr Anthony Hunt, said the authority needed to find “an imaginative and long-term solution that enables it to flourish”.

Working with other groups could form part of the strategy, but Cllr Hunt said it was now for the new sub-group to firm up ideas.

He added: “We have to work together to put the farm on a sustainable footing, not just try to dig in to the status quo and then come back here every year, time after time.

“I am keen that we look into the longer term.”