Work has finally begun on urgent repairs to Llanfyllin's historic workhouse.

Following the launch last year of an appeal to raise £50,000, scaffolding has now gone up on the three-storey Master’s House which sits in the centre of Y Dolydd.

Trustee of the site, John Hainsworth, said: "One of the chimneys had been found to be leaning slightly and to avert any possible risk to the workshops below the Dolydd trustees decided action was needed now.

"The chimney was dismantled by local craftsman Richard Stephenson and will be rebuilt, using the original bricks and traditional lime mortar, when the weather permits."

To help fund the work the trust has been awarded a grant of £2,740 from the Community Foundation in Wales through the Welsh Church Act scheme, which helps community groups.

In April members of the Master’s House Steering Group met Powys County Council’s conservation officer to discuss plans drawn up by Llanrhaeadr architect Richard Payne.

These include a new entrance from the first courtyard and internal improvements as well as repairs to the roof and the restoration of the classical cupola which once crowned the building.

John added: "It will be clearly visible from the town."

The plans will be formally submitted once a bat survey has been completed.

"This is a major undertaking to be carried out over several months and the trust obtained quotations from five consultants before choosing Dr Mike Worsfold of Llanymynech," John continued.

"Mike’s team will work with volunteers from the Workhouse’s Green Hub to identify the bats present on site and draw-up a scheme to minimise disturbance."

But the appeal work continues as funds are urgently needed to continue the restoration.

Since summer 2016 more than 3,000 people have visited the Workhouse History Centre which was created with the help of a small grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The HLF’s development manager visited Y Dolydd and met Trustees last Wednesday, after which the trust hopes to lodge a further bid for the Master’s House.

John added: "It’s hoped that visitors can be helped to learn about the bats as well as earlier inmates of the Workhouse."