A DERELICT 19th Century chapel and hall in the heart of Llanidloes have been targeted by weeks of vandalism.

Bethel Chapel and Hall have been broken into during the last couple of weeks, and graffiti has been sprayed all over the walls and has been set on fire.

Dr Kevin Blockley, a trustee of The Wilderness Trust which is renovating the building, said he is heartbroken by the incidents.

Built in 1872, the former English Presbyterian chapel fell into disrepair after it closed in 2004 along with the former chapel hall which was an ironmonger’s until it closed its doors for the final time more than seven years ago.

Both buildings have needed renovation and conversion work to prevent further damage.

The buildings are being leased by The Wilderness Trust and in order to save them they set up a community project.

The Tylwch-based trust held a public consultation to gain any ideas and views for the use of both buildings before they start the project.

It is projected that more than a £1 million would be needed for maintenance work to fix the walls, floors, windows and leaking roof.

Dr Blockley said: “Bethel Hall and Chapel are being vandalised regularly.

“Several windows have been broken in the last couple of weeks, rude graffiti sprayed on internal walls, and the chapel set on fire.

“These buildings are being converted for community use and work will be under way in the next few days.

“The more damage that is done the more it will cost to get the buildings back into safe use.

“If anyone knows who is doing the damage please ask them to stop.

“It is breaking my heart to see the 19th Century windows damaged and internal woodwork destroyed beyond repair”.

Dyfed-Powys Police have been approached for comment.