USERS of a ‘in demand’ community venue have reacted with anger and disappointment after suggestions that it could close.

Tynewydd Community Centre, in Rhyl, is used by a variety of groups for activities including line dancing, keep fit, Rhyl Folk Club, dance, theatre, Kung Fu, kickboxing and more.

Rhyl Town Council has sent letters to various groups to evaluate the need for the build. The town council, which owns the centre, say they need to asses whether “the level of expenditure required to bring the build up to date to an acceptable standard can be justified”.

Margaret Gough, who has been holding line dancing classes at the centre for 24 years, said: “We do three classes a week and have ages ranging from 60 to 83. It is a lifeline for the community. It gets people out, it gets people exercising, socialising, it is mental stimulation.

“They [the town council] are short sighted. Venues like this one is so important to mental and physical wellbeing. It keeps people away from the doctors and hospital."

The town council say they need to understand why groups choose to use the build in preference to alternative facilities available.

They have suggested that groups make use of venues such as Rhyl Community Fire Station and Rhyl Rugby Club for their activities, but Mrs Gough stressed that they are simply not fit for purpose.

“The rugby club - we couldn’t afford it anyway and it is not available on a regular basis. I would have to put my prices up.The other venue is not suitable for our requirements.”

Mrs Gough is also a member of Rhyl Folk Club who meet at the centre on Friday evenings.

Rhyl Journal:

The line dancing group say the centre is a 'lifeline'

“The council want to make some cuts and they think if we do this, nobody will notice. All they are bothered about is tourism,” she added.

The town council say the centre is in need of extensive refurbishment. Work would cost about £20,000.

Mrs Gough said that a fortune could be spent on a complete renovation, but feels the “minimum expenditure would suffice.”

She added: “It does need a good coat of paint. The disabled toilet, the door doesn’t open correctly, and the flooring is lifting. They had a new floor in 2006 but didn’t wax it. “

Other group members have written to the town council voicing their concerns about the possible closure.

Edna Talbot-Schofield said: “We already know how badly the place needs attention and not just a lick of paint, however it is a valuable facility. Not just to me, but for the many who live in the vicinity and the East end of Rhyl.”

Chris Smith said: “It would be appalling if it closed. This room is invaluable to us. We need a proper dance floor and these are very limited now in Rhyl.”

Tim Robinson said: “I am shocked and appalled the the town council is even considering this option. The centre fulfils an important role and need in the community, providing people with a social meeting place to form new friendships which for some senior citizens may be their only opportunity of getting out of their house.”

The town council is expected to make their decision over the future of the build in September or October.

Gareth Nickels, town clerk at Rhyl Town Council, said: “The Town Council recognises that Tynewydd Community Centre is now in need of extensive refurbishment.

“When the centre was originally provided it was the only such facility in the East Rhyl area. Since then a number of alternative centres have been established offering similar facilities including the Community Fire Station and more recently the Rhyl Rugby Club. On a town-wide basis other facilities are available and currently being developed.

“Given that the centre continues to be regularly used by several groups, it would seem that there is still a demand for the specific facilities offered by it. The council need to understand why groups choose to use it in preference to alternative facilities available.

“As the owner of the centre the council needs to evaluate whether the level of expenditure required to bring this facility up to an acceptable standard can be justified to its residents in terms of the current alternative provision available locally, the cost of refurbishment and the ongoing cost to the Rhyl residents of running the facility.

“In the event that the council determines that refurbishment of the centre is justified, it will need to ensure that any works carried out meet the needs of its user groups.

“The council must also satisfy itself that any expenditure incurred is commensurate to the level of benefit derived by its residents who pay for the Centre and subsidise the activities held there.

“To this end the council has written to the user groups seeking details their input

“Once the council has gathered the relevant information it will make a decision on the future of the centre."

Any Rhyl resident wishing to comment on the review is welcome to contact the Council by email, letter or through their local Town Councillor.

A public meeting is being held this Friday, August 23 between 1.30pm and 3pm and will be attended by three Rhyl town councillors.