THE roof at a community centre in Torfaen is to be replaced – after 150 years.
Work to completely replace the roof at Panteg House will begin later this month, and is being paid for by a £391,800 grant from the National Lottery.
A new heating system will also be installed, replacing the existing system, which dates back to 1948.
Panteg House runs 60 organisations in the community, as well as a food bank seven days a week – and the work is being carried out in stages to allow the building to stay open as much as possible during the work.
Roof in disrepair picture: Allan Peploe
Allan Peploe, the site’s legal secretary, licensee, club manager and safeguarding officer, described the impending work as “a dream come true”.
“It’s absolutely fantastic for us,” he said.
“We have buckets in the attic – we’ve got more buckets than B&Q.
“Lots of people in the community have helped patch up the walls, painted the ceiling to try to hold the damp back, but the water just comes back.
“We were throwing money at something that would only be preventative for a couple of months.
“When the work is done, we will have a huge celebration – we’ve been waiting for so long.”
Side angle of the damaged roof picture: Allan Peploe
He added problems with damp and leaks at the building had caused serious problems.
“Torfaen Choir were doing their rehearsal during the storms, and they had buckets on the floor and were singing with umbrellas,” he said.
“When the walls of the club dry out volunteers are waiting to come in and decorate.
“Several rooms we can’t use because of the wet coming in through the walls – they will be functional again; we have organisations waiting to use the rooms.
“This is not a warm building – no installation in the roof, our electricity prices went up £10,000 a year.
“It is bonkers – I really feel for the families we supply here.”
Work will begin on Monday, September 26, and is due to finish on Saturday, December 3.