VALE Council has conceded they have no plans to renovate an iconic Barry lifeguard station that has been in disrepair for years, leaving the door open for a community group take over to transform it.

At a council meeting on April 29, Sally Evans, who is leading a community group looking to transform the Cold Knap lifeguard station into a ‘coastal and environment exploration centre’, asked the council what plans, if any, the Vale Council has to renovate the Cold Knap lifeguard station.

In reply, Bronwen Brooks, cabinet member for sustainable places, conceded the council has more pressing priorities than Cold Knap lifeguard station.

Ms Brooks told the meeting: “We have no plans to bring the building back ourselves since it was unfortunately declared unsafe by our structural engineers due to water ingress effecting the substructure.

“With other critical funding areas such as housing, schools and highways we simply do not have the funds to repair the building.”

On the future of the building, Cllr Brooks said the council had had discussions with various community groups, however, no substantive plans have been made.

“Our officers have had discussions with several local water sports groups,” said Cllr Brooks. “While these discussions are on-going, they have not identified any commitments that would fund the repairs required.”

To Ms Evans, Cllr Brooks advised: “I welcome your interest. I would advise that you visit the council website and submit an expression of interest.”

Barry And District News: Sally Evans leads a group wanting to transform the Cold Knap lifeguard stationSally Evans leads a group wanting to transform the Cold Knap lifeguard station (Image: Newsquest)

What is a ‘Community Asset Transfer’

A Community Asset Transfer (CAT) happens when a public sector body transfers management or ownership of a property to a community body.

Community bodies considered include: voluntary organisations, co–operatives, mutual social enterprises, and town/community councils.

The CAT process is based on a few key principles which include community need, and support of the council’s wider aims and objectives.

The CAT application process has three stages: Expression of interest, full business plan, and decision.

Barry And District News: The group want to turn the life guard station into a coastal and exploration centreThe group want to turn the life guard station into a coastal and exploration centre (Image: Google Maps)

What is a coastal exploration centre?

The group describe their plans for the Knap old lifeguard station as a multi-use space with a classroom for children, a space to hold exhibitions, a facility that will cater to outdoor pursuits and include outdoor showers and toilets.

They explained: “Plans would include a multi-use space that would house a classroom easily adaptable for varied community groups and wellbeing providers.

“We want The Reef to house changing exhibitions, offer an indoor facility for outdoor pursuits, and bring together people from our various interest groups across the Vale community”.

Find out more about the groups ambitions and how to get involved at:

What do you think of the plans? Excited by them? What do you think should happen to the old lifeguard station at Cold Knap? Let us know in comments, on our Facebook page, or email

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