Cardiff Council has unveiled extensive plans to save the historic Coal Exchange building from dereliction. The news comes just a few short weeks after the 127-year-old building, situated at Mount Stuart Square in Cardiff Bay, was closed because of safety fears.
The Coal Exchange building, built between 1883 and 1886 and was once the headquarters of the coal industry in Cardiff. In its prime the building would play host to the business deals of wealthy business owners and customers from across the world. The building helped turn Cardiff into the commercial powerhouse it is today, and it was here that the first record million-pound business deal was struck. Up until its closure the building played host to live music, wedding receptions and social functions as well as numerous corporate events.
The plans set forward by Cardiff Council hope to save the building’s history whilst also adding a 1,300-seat banqueting hall, exchange hall, public & office space as well as an innovation centre. Cardiff Council also hope to use the hall as a networking hub for businesses and build parking below ground between the existing foundations.
The council has made no secret of its plans for wider redevelopment of Mount Stuart Square Butetown and hope that the Coal Exchange renovation will help get this process up and running. They hope that once the area is redeveloped the Coal Exchange building will be the “new home for business and enterprise in Cardiff”.
Should Cardiff Council be successful in acquiring the building’s freehold, they hope to be able to fund the renovations with private and public sector investment, rumoured to be in the range of £25m to £40m.
The plans to acquire the Coal Exchange were unveiled by Russell Goodway, cabinet member for the economy, and revealed that unless something was done quickly, the building would undoubtedly suffer dereliction and the chances for refurbishment would disappear within two years.
Currently the Coal Exchange building is owned by Macob Exchange Ltd who have planning permission to turn the building into apartments, office space and restaurants, although the plans have never come to fruition. This lack of progress has caused the building to become unstable, especially at the building’s north-west façade and south-east wing.
Speaking about the lack of development progress Macob Exchange Ltd’s technical director, Wayne Rees said:
“We have been in discussions with Cardiff Council for the past 12 months about the best way forward. Until recently, Macob Exchange Ltd has invested funds to maintain the listed building. But as highlighted in a recent structural report commissioned by Cardiff Council, significant additional investment is required to preserve the building.
We have completed our own appraisals and shared the results with Cardiff Council on the best uses for the Coal Exchange, we are now working together to deliver the vision outlined in the Investment Prospectus”.
Here at CPS Homes we are always happy to hear of restoration projects that aim to secure Cardiff’s historic presence. This Coal Exchange restoration is great news for Cardiff and especially Cardiff Bay. Stay tuned to our blog for all the latest updates and more stories about other property restorations throughout the Cardiff areas.