THE future of Grade II-listed building near Cwmbran dating back almost 200 years may have been secured.

According to new information revealed by our sister title, South Wales Argusa multi-million-pound bid is being launched to convert Llantarnam Abbey into a state-of-the-art private hospital.

The Abbey was built in 1837 on the site of a Cistercian Abbey dating back to 1178.

The site was used as an American depot during World War Two.

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The Sisters of St Joseph of Annecy took over in 1946 and were a central part of the Catholic community in Gwent.

Many members of the order became teachers at Holy Family School in Newport and St Joseph's Roman Catholic High School in Newport.

After the Sisters made the decision to leave the abbey in June this year, the future of the historic site was in doubt.

Future of Llantarnam Abbey

Now, however, a multi-million-pound bid has been launched to bring the building right up to the 21st century.

Gwent Holdings Ltd, which owns St Joseph’s Hospital in Malpas, Newport, bought Llantarnam Abbey six months ago.

Main shareholder Jayne Lewis said: "We’re putting in for a change of use to turn the abbey into a 60-bed hospital complete with a cancer care wing and radiology equipment.

"We hope to get the change of use application approved imminently."

She explained that the nuns [the Sisters of St Joseph of Annecy] were vacating the building and "we had to decide what to do with it".

"We’re in consultation with planning as the site is a listed building," she said.

"The family are very excited.

"There are stacks of potential there, beautiful grounds.

"There’s even a graveyard where at least one archbishop is buried. We have made it part of the agreement that the graveyard is preserved."

Ms Lewis explained that the current site at St Joseph’s Hospital was not big enough.

"So we decided to invest in the conversion of Llantarnam," she said.

"It will be a big job, we have a budget of around £40-50million.

"We have the ammunition, what we need is the approval.

"We are hoping to start early next year, subject to everything.

"If we get there it will be amazing for the people of Gwent."