AN industrial unit could be turned into a church and community hub under new plans to create 'one of the largest meeting venues in Christchurch'.

GodFirst Church want to take on a unit in Airfield Way and turn it into a place of worship, auditorium and

meeting rooms, training centre and day nursery.

The unit is currently used by Curtiss Wight, who have moved to new premises at Bournemouth Airport.

Curtiss Wright, formerly Penny and Giles and a global technology giant.

GodFirst is a member of Evangelical Alliance and was previously known as the Family Church.

For the past 20 years they have been looking for premises, and came close to buying the former Dreams warehouse in Wilverley Road in 2013.

Currently they meet at the Regent Centre and Highcliffe Day Centre with around 300 people in the congregations on a weekly basis.

A design and access statement, submitted as part of the planning application to Christchurch Borough Council, said: "In order to allow for anticipated future growth we have been looking to buy or build premises that would include a main auditorium for 500 people, together with ancillary facilities for a crèche, day nursery, day centre, Sunday school, youth work and smaller meeting rooms."

It adds: "It is located near an area of social deprivation that would benefit from the wide range of

community facilities that we are proposing to provide.

"It could also provide meeting space and other services to local businesses in the area."

The scheme also includes a ‘Man Shed’ to provide space and equipment for isolated and lonely people

to get together to work on projects and also train people for employment.

It is hoped up to 25 people would be employed at the new centre as well.

And the people behind the scheme want to help the unemployed, young and old, families, single parents and those in financial need through a range of different initiatives.

The statement adds: "The aim of the proposed development is to create a vibrant, well-used community facility

with a Christian ethos at its heart."