A FORMER bingo hall could be transformed into a church and multi-purpose community centre under ambitious new plans.

After hearing rumours the bingo club in Moordown was to close, Bournemouth Community Church (BCC) approached Gala Coral to discuss the company's plans for the Wimborne Road site.

Negotiations between the two parties are currently underway and BCC has now submitted a planning application to Bournemouth council.

Under their proposals, the former Moderne cinema building will be converted into a multi-functional community complex.

This will house the current activities of BCC but will also be available for local theatre groups and other community organisations to use.

The upper level of the existing building will become an 800-seater auditorium while the lower level will be suitable for children's clubs, training rooms and community fun days.

The rear of the building will operate as a self-contained youth centre with a sports hall and a chill-out lounge area.

There are no proposals to extend the building and the only external alterations will be a new entrance and lobby area.

In paperwork submitted to planners, BCC argue the change of use will probably result in lower traffic and activity levels than generated by the bingo club.

Greg Rawlings, BCC operations manager, said: "Predominantly we currently meet in two schools in the area and we have been looking for a place of this sort of size for a while.

"We're excited about our plans because we feel the building could offer something for everyone. We know there are lots of local theatre and community groups who could make great use of the space."