AN amateur dramatics group has been given planning permission by Powys County Council (PCC) to revamp their Grade II listed, headquarters.

Tanat Theatre Group, who are based at the former National School in Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, have received listed building planning consent, to create a new entrance and reception area there.

Changes will also be made to the kitchen of the former school building which was originally built in 1858.

Planning officer, Rhys Evans, said in his report that at the start of the process PCC’s built heritage officer, was concerned that not enough information had been given on how the changes would affect the listed building.

But, after the proposal had been tweaked, the built heritage officer had no objections to the proposals.

Mr Evans, said: “It is not considered that the proposed alterations will create a a detrimental impact upon the historic fabric of the building or cause any detrimental impact upon the setting if a listed building.

“It is considered that the proposed development complies with relevant planning policy and the recommendation is conditional consent.”

In the design and access statement that accompanied the application, agent, Tayler Davies, said: “Originally the school was split into there are classrooms with a separate space for a staff room and office.

“The closure of the National School was a direct result of changes to the education system implemented by the Denbigh Education Authority, who took over the ‘Top School’ in the village, making it an ‘all age’ school five to 14 years school.

“This school had previously taught only those over the age of 11.”

The other school in the village saw it’s numbers dwindle after a High School opened in nearby, Llanfyllin.

For a time the local football club used the National School as a changing room and club house, it was also used for community events.

Mr Davies added: “It was not until 1984 that the building was bought by the local theatre group.”

“Partly funded by the Mid Wales Development Board the theatre group bought the building in order to create a permanent theatre space within the village.

“The Tanat Theatre Group had itself only been established two years earlier by Edwin and Gaynor Richfield in order to help ease the level of unemployment within the village.

“The group has now been running for 37 years and still uses the Former National School as its main base in the village.”

The school was in a state of disrepair and needed a complete refurbishment when it was bought.

This work was done by Antur Tanat-Cain a youth training scheme to tackle unemployment and teach trades to those out of work which was set up in the 1980s.