THE Barry at War history group's bid to secure a lease on the unused ground floor of the former Barry Tourist Information Centre has failed.

Chairman Ade Pitman said the group were very disappointed to be told that their plans to use the Barry Island building as a Great War centenary centre had been turned down by the Vale council.

Mr Pitman said: "When we first broached the idea of using the building about 12 months ago, we had hoped to have had a Great War Centenary Centre established in time for this week’s events.

"It would have been a real feather in the cap for Barry and we believe that it would have attracted considerable amounts of heritage tourists and school visits.

"Naturally the group and the Forces Associations who have supported our idea to establish a Great War Centenary Centre in the building on Barry Island promenade are all disappointed that we have failed to pass this stage.

"Although the decision by the Vale of Glamorgan is disappointing, we look forward to working with them and invite suggestions from those responsible for regeneration and tourism to suggest alternate venues for a Great War Centenary Centre."

Mr Pitman said he is hopeful that a Great War Centenary Centre can be established in Barry before the centenary of the Battle of the Somme in 2016.

A Vale Council spokesman confirmed that the centre is currently under offer to an interested party, but that they are not able to release their identity at this stage.

The Glamorgan Wartime Heritage Centre at Barry Island Railway Station is open Wednesday afternoons, 2pm to 4pm.

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