An empty bar and nightclub in a rundown part of Swindon town centre could soon be seeing an entirely new type of clientele.

The Redeemed Christian Church of God, an evangelical church with more than 800 branches in the UK, has received permission to convert the building at 22-23 Fleet Street, last used as Remix bar and nightclub, into a church and bible study centre.

Before being known as Remix, the building was known as Cheekies until it closed in April 2022.

It was also previously owned by Wetherspoons, as the Groves Company Inn.

The church told planners at Swindon Borough Council, in its application: “First established in Nigeria in 1952, today the church has nearly 10 million members in over 50,000 parishes. It seeks to provide a place for the congregation of local church members and a base for the church’s community events and outreach work.”

It also said there are to be no external or internal alterations required to the building for the new use and there would be no change to the character and appearance of the area.

One member of the public wrote to planners to support the applications: “This sounds a good use to me. It will serve and benefit the community and turn a disused building in a very neglected area into a hub close to the centre of town with good bus and rail links. I hope it will be open at times during the week as well as on Sundays and help to bring life back into this part of town.”

That seemed to chime with council planners who said: “The proposed place of worship would bring a vacant unit back into use within the town centre. The use, whilst not a main town centre use, would result in a use that would bring people into the town centre throughout the week and would have the potential to have an indirect benefit to the surrounding retail and other uses."

Over noise concerns, the decision to grant permission added: “The change to a place of worship is likely to entail activities that may give rise to a degree of noise.

“Such levels of noise are likely to represent an improvement from the levels of noise associated with the use as a bar and as such there is unlikely to be any materially harmful impact on the amenities of surrounding residents as a result of the proposed change of use."