PLANS to restore Llandeilo’s former market hall are being welcomed in the town.
The building’s owner, Carmarthenshire Council, has submitted a planning application to refurbish and extend the grade two-listed structure, with some demolition also required.
If given the go-ahead, the derelict Carmarthen Street building would accommodate small to medium-sized rural businesses, with space for events, and a cafe.
Llandeilo councillor Edward Thomas said of the scheme: “It would help regenerate that section of town and restore an iconic listed building.”
Cllr Thomas said the building was once a provisions market, with a slaughterhouse at the rear, before accommodating a welding and fabrication firm and then hosting a pottery festival.
But it fell into disrepair from around 2001 onwards.
Louise Nugent, who works at Teilo Laundry, which is adjacent to the former market hall, said of the council’s plan: “It would definitely be good for the town.”
She reckoned it should have something for young people, for example a small-scale bowling alley.
Lowri Rees, the owner of Salon Swish in Carmarthen Street, said: “It’s absolutely brilliant if the y do something with it.
“It’s a shame to leave any building go to waste.
“My only concern is parking. At the moment parking is absolutely terrible here.”
There is an area beside the former market hall where people leave their vehicles.
Cllr Thomas said there was a car park attached to the land with space for around 50 cars.
Carmarthenshire Council announced proposals to restore the former market hall last November. The executive board set aside £562,000 towards the project, and said officers would work closely with various funding bodies to secure extra finance.
Speaking at the time, council leader Emlyn Dole said it had been working on a restoration proposal with interested parties, but that the cost had deterred them.
“However, an opportunity has arisen for us to access external funding to bring forward a transformational project that will bring this historic building back into economic use,” he said last November.
Llandeilo is one of 10 market towns the council wants to strengthen and reinvigorate as part a newly-adopted rural affairs strategy.
The authority declined to comment when asked if it had secured extra finance for the market hall project and what the interest has been from potential tenants.