PLANS have been put forward to demolish a church hall in Harwood and create a modern multi-purpose community building in its place.

The proposals from the Harwood Methodist Church aim to create a ‘fantastic new worship space’ as well as other facilities to be used by the residents of the area.

If approved, the work would see the existing Longsight Methodist Church Hall, in Longsight and the adjacent building knocked down and replaced with the new facility.

As well as a central contemporary worship area, the new complex would include a café, kitchen, meeting rooms and a multi-use community hall.

The plans have been formulated over the past eight years and Reverend Ian Smart of the Harwood Methodist Church said that a ‘flexible new building’ is needed for the people of Harwood.

He said: “For the past eight years Harwood Methodist Church has been on a journey to become a church that is seeking to be community focused, working alongside our God in the places that he calls us to be, and with the risen Christ at our centre.

“In order to achieve this vision we recognised that we needed a new building that is flexible and capable of being a gathering place for all the people of Harwood.

“Now in 2016, we are closing in on achieving our objectives in relation to the building, and so we are delighted to share the design that we shall be submitting to the Bolton planners.”

Those plans have now been submitted and the council planning officers will analyse them, with a decision likely to come from the council’s planning committee in the coming months.

The architect behind the application, Mushtaq Saleri said: “This scheme is achievable (technically and financially) but more importantly it reflects the ambition of the church to provide a fantastic new worship space and an important set of facilities to serve the local community, to work alongside the recently converted church.”

Harwood Methodist Church currently has two sites in Bolton — in Longsight and in Tottington Road.

The two churches were merged in 2009, with the current plans partly emerging from a desire to worship under one roof.

The Longsight site was chosen as the destination for the project due to its central location in the community.