PLANS to spend £300,000 to transform the Westfield Resource and Enterprise Centre into a modern community hub have been sent to Wakefield Council for approval.
Members of St Luke’s Church, on Carlton Road, South Elmsall, have applied to buy the building on Westfield Lane, for an estimated £80,000 to £120,000, after the council decided to offload it earlier this year due to budget cuts.
Martyn Sullivan, chairman and senior minister of the church, plans to completely refurbish the building to create a creche, a 300-seat auditorium with full recording and broadcasting facilities, a cafe and computer suite.
He also wants to transfer their nursery which currently runs on Barnsley Road, South Kirkby, to the building to accommodate more children.
Mr Sullivan said: “I think this is what the area needs, a new community hub, and I do not believe there is any other group or organisation that can offer this.
“The building is disgusting, a complete dive, so this would be a great opportunity to completely gut it and make it into a modern facility for everyone to use. It would be a dream come true.”
St Luke’s Church is a non-for-profit organisation and has been based on the same plot of land as the centre since 2000 and offers a variety of courses and youth facilities.
Mr Sullivan said he always had his sights set on the building to enable him to run everything in one location.
He said: “We have been drawing up plans since it was announced by the council to offload the land, and feel it makes perfect business sense. There is so much we want to do and so much we can do, we just want to be given the opportunity to turn it into something amazing.”
The centre would open seven days a week and also offer a wider range of courses to the public.
Jill McMahon, director of St Luke’s Church, said: “We want to keep what is already there and build on it. We believe we can run better services and facilities.”
If the council decides not to sell the building, it could lease it on a long-term contract to South Elmsall Town Council.
The closing date for proposals regarding the centre close on September 9.
A Wakefield Council spokeswoman said the council was in discussions with community groups interested in taking over the property and proposals will be submitted to the council for detailed consideration at a future cabinet meeting.
The council would not confirm who it was in discussion with for confidentiality reasons.