AMBITIOUS plans for the renovation of Ammanford’s All Saints church are ahead of schedule.

A committee set up to oversee the regeneration of the iconic building have moved forward the planned reopening to mark the anniversary of the start of the First World War.

The date is viewed as a fitting tribute to the 98-year-old building, which saw its clock tower added in 1923 in memory of the men who died on the battlefields of Europe.

Committee member Peter Pemberton said the group had originally planned for a formal re-opening to mark All Saint’s centenary in 1915 but, thanks to the committee’s efforts, Remembrance Day 2014 had become a reality.

“It would be lovely if it could be open in time for November 11, 2014,” said Mr Pemberton.

“It will be tight, but we think it is do-able.

“The main part of the church was constructed in 1915 with the belfry or clock tower added in 1923.

“The tower was paid for with money raised in Ammanford as a memorial to the fallen.

“Although it has never been officially accepted as a war memorial it was constructed in memory of the men who fell during the First World War.”

Despite the main church being completed in 1915 at a cost of £12,000, it was 1926 before All Saints was formally adopted by the diocese because of outstanding debts.

However, Mr Pemberton is confident the cost of the refurbishment – expected to run into the hundreds of thousands – can be found.

“We will need grants to cover a huge range of things, from heating and electrics to surveyors and engineers, but we believe we can find them,” he said.

Upon completion, All Saints will become one of Ammanford’s leading venues for a wide range of events, and will be the only location in the town able to host 500 people assembled together.