A DERELICT Southampton pub is being transformed into a new Buddhist centre.

The Plume of Feathers in St Mary’s, shut more than five years ago but now the building will get a new lease of life as a spiritual centre.

Southampton City Council approved the proposal to change the pub into The Southampton Triratna Buddhist Centre,and work has now begun.

The building will be used as a place of worship for the Southampton Triratna Buddhist community and for visiting members of the surrounding community from Romsey, Winchester, Salisbury and as far afield as Bournemouth and Glastonbury as well as Southampton.

It will host meditation evenings and study groups.

The registered charity previously ran weekly groups at the The Grove Therapy Centre in Highfield.

The Southampton Triratna Buddhist Centre is part of the worldwide Triratna Buddhist Community and its purpose is to practice and communicate the teachings of the Buddha.

Chair of Southampton Triratna Buddhist Community, Sudarshini Whittaker said: “We want to encourage more people to become involved. Buddhism is for everyone.

"We want to reach out to the local community as well as working with other faith groups to make positive changes to the area.

"We hope to host regular open days so that people can come and learn what Buddhism is about.”