Town councillors have welcomed plans to build an extension at St Mary’s Church in Devizes to secure its future.

The Parochial Church Council (PCC) hopes the new building will enable them to bring the church back into use as a community venue.

The PCC has submitted a planning application to Wiltshire Council for a curved cloister extension to the north of the church.

The extension will house meeting rooms, toilets, changing spaces and facilities for catering, storage and administration. The 12th century church will still be used for services and the nave will be opened up for performances and exhibitions.

Racked seating will be used to accommodate an audience of up to 260.

At a town council planning committee meeting on Tuesday, councillors welcomed the plans.

Coun Paula Winch-combe said: “It’s been a long process leading to this application and I know the church has consulted widely.

“It will be an exciting addition to the space in Devizes and I think we should support it.”

Coun Jane Burton said: “Having seen these plans from the word go, I think it’s a brilliant use for a wonderful church and I will wholeheartedly support it.”

Town mayor Kelvin Nash said: “The prospect of this performance area and the size of it is a perfect fit for Devizes.

“We have got larger and smaller size venues, this is a nice size. It has my full support.”

The PCC applied in 2006 for the church to be declared redundant but the Diocese of Salisbury asked them to look for alternative uses for the building.