PLANS to formally turn parts of Ceredigion County Council’s now under-used £15m offices in Aberystwyth into a health centre have been approved by council planners.

After agreeing to a temporary hybrid working model in 2021 – that saw hundreds of desks at Canolfan Rheidol remain empty as staff stayed away to work from hom – the council launched discussions on what to do with the empty space.

The council entered into an agreement to hand over parts of the building temporarily to Hywel Dda University Health Board for outpatient physiotherapy clinics while it “develops a longer term plan for the empty space in the building.”

While clinics and health functions have already been performed at the building, a formal change of use application was approved by the council’s Development Control Committee on 13 September.

The plan will see 390 square metres of the building taken up by Hywel Dda, after the change the use of parts of the ground floor and first floor from offices to a health centre were approved subject to conditions by committee members.

The plans will see rooms used for treatments and consultations as well as meeting and staff rooms.

Planning documents said: “The reduction in the number of staff operating a full-time office based role has meant that at some points the office building is under occupied.

“The new use will ensure that the building is utilised to its full potential, without having to build a purpose built building to house the health centre.”

Hywel Dda Health Board said it will deliver “a range of multi-generational services” from Canolfan Rheidol including an outpatient musculoskeletal physiotherapy service, clinics for patients living with lymphoedema, multi-disciplinary therapy services for patients who are frail with the risk of falling, and paediatric therapy services.