PLANS to redevelop and expand a listed gallery building in Carmarthen have been recommended for approval.

The new-look Oriel Myrddin Gallery will extend into two commercial units at the rear and feature a new cafe, shop, office space, studio rooms and art hub.

Carmarthenshire Council’s planning committee has approved an officer recommendation for approval, but the scheme still needs the all-clear from Wales heritage body, Cadw.

Planning committee chairman Cllr Alun Lenny, who represents Carmarthen Town South, said the scheme would allow local as well as famous artists to exhibit their work, and attract more visitors to that part of the town.

He said the two units at the rear had been empty for some time.

“In my opinion it’s an excellent application and an ambitious one, and one that should be very much welcomed,” said Cllr Lenny.

A council planning officer said the redeveloped gallery would be a “significant cultural centre within Carmarthen”.

There will be a link from the gallery into the units at the rear, plus stairs and a platform lift.

The building was originally a school of art, and was listed in 1984.

No-one objected to the application by Oriel Myrddin Trust, and its supporters included Carmarthen Town Council.

The application was referred to the planning committee because Carmarthenshire Council has ownership and financial interests in the proposal.

Speaking afterwards, Cllr Lenny said the red-bricked building was the work of by Welsh architect George Morgan, who also designed the English Baptist Church, Lammas Street, and the Towy Works building on the Quayside.

“It is hard to imagine three more different buildings,” he said.