THE Laverton in Westbury could receive a £350,000 makeover over the next two years if its application for a grant is successful.

Plans include transforming the downstairs snooker hall and reading rooms into a function hall which could be hired out and installing a new lift, able to take a wheelchair and attendant, upgrading the toilets and introducing a unisex disabled toilet upstairs. The kitchen and bar room on the first floor would be updated and a manager's office created.

A business plan drawn up by the town council's Laverton Trust Management Committee, which sets out proposals for developing the Grade II listed building, was presented to Westbury Town Council on Monday by Cllr Russell Hawker.

He said: "This is the largest project we have ever engaged in. It is a major refurbishment project, which would take place in 2007-8.

"This second business plan now talks more about the heritage of the building."

Cllr Hawker said this was important because the committee plans to apply to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the bulk of the money.

If the application is unsuccessful there are other avenues to follow, including a grant from Landfill Tax Credits.

Cllr Hawker said the plan was a living document and would continue to evolve as new challenges arose. "It is robust and able to take knocks," he said.

The committee also plans to approach businesses in the local area for sponsorship.

Councillors welcomed the plan and voted unanimously for it to be approved and adopted.

Former mayor Cllr Horace Prickett said he was pleased to see the plan and outlined the importance of The Laverton to the town.

The building was donated to the people of Westbury in the 19th century by local benefactor Abraham Laverton. Originally built as a recreational centre, it also housed a boys' school.

It is owned by The Laverton Institute, a charitable trust. The town council became sole trustee in December 2003 after it was previously under the control of West Wiltshire District Council, and there have been complaints about lack of action over the past two years. Cllr Gordon King, chairman of the management committee, said the business plan and the accounts would be on view at Westbury library.