PLANS to retain one of Barry’s pubs as a community-run facility, have been announced.

The Barry & District News, last month, revealed Newydd Housing Association and S.A. Brain were discussing a deal which would see the Castle Hotel, in Jewel Street, transformed into homes while retaining its pub facilities.

Newydd plan to build 14 affordable homes for local people above the community pub as part of a deal to also acquire the Sea View Labour Club from S.A. Brain.

Vale council leader, Cllr John Thomas said: “A good pub is at the heart of a thriving community and this initiative will offer the people of Castleland the opportunity to play a major part in how their local is run. It can be the base for a range of activities taking place in the area, while the creation of affordable homes will provide people struggling to get on the property ladder with the chance to take that step.”

Derek Britton, of the Castleview Hub group said: “Barry has a thriving skittles scene and this project will also help to keep that tradition going.”

Newydd chief executive, Paul Roberts added: “We’re very excited about the prospect of this new venture. Not only will it provide affordable homes for local people, but the pub will also make a positive contribution to the community and their social lives.”

The Vale council’s economic development team has enlisted the support of Binki Rees, who turned around the Lansdowne Pub in Canton into the CAMRA Real Ale Pub of the Year.

Ms Rees said: “We want to hear from the people of Castleland and further afield in Barry about what they would like to see in the pub. What kind of food do you like? What is your favourite real ale? Could we offer space for your community group? Based on my experience, input from local people into how this pub develops is going to be crucial if it is to succeed as a pub at the heart of this vibrant community.”

The community pub concept has been supported by Vale AM Jane Hutt.

She said: “I have been supporting the Castleview Hub group on this important project-preserving the future of the Castle Hotel and activities of the Seaview Labour Club. I am delighted that it is moving forward so positively and bringing the community together.”

Those involved in developing the project, along with partners such as the Youth Service and South Wales Police will support a community open day on Saturday, February 17 from 12pm to 3pm.

There will be free family activities and refreshments and the chance to tour the building, play skittles and give your ideas on what your perfect pub looks like.