Further details released on Cardiff Market restoration project
Ted Peskett – Local Democracy Reporter
Further details have been released about how a major project to restore Cardiff’s indoor market will be funded.
Cardiff Council’s cabinet members will next week be asked to approve a funding strategy for the restoration of the Grade II-listed building, which will reveal original design features, restore traditional entrances and original stalls, and see the roof repaired.
The project, which is estimated to cost £6.2m, will also see a new seating area installed and improvements made to the Victorian drainage system in the building.
According to a Cardiff Council report about the project, it will be funded by a combination of external grants and loans and direct investment from the council.
Council leader Huw Thomas, said: “This is about the restoration of one of our most iconic city centre buildings.
“There are 130 years of history under the roof of Cardiff Market, history that these proposals aim to protect, preserve and futureproof, so that the market remains the bustling heart of the city centre for years to come.”
If funding is successfully secured, it is hoped that restoration work can begin next summer.
In principle, funding has already been agreed from the Welsh Government and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The council report about the project proposes that council funding will come from the local authority’s property asset renewal budget. Other external grant funding will also be sought.
It is proposed that the market will remain open during the restoration work, which could take place on a phased basis, with aisles of tenants being temporarily relocated to units on the Hayes for up to 12 weeks.
A council statement says: “To enable the delivery of the new ground-floor seating area, proposed for the central block of the northern aisle, a small number of traders will be relocated within the market.
“To ensure that displaced tenants are offered the best alternative locations in the market, the council will reserve any vacated stalls until the completion of the restoration for these tenants.”
The council has identified a number of potential revenue implications which could be faced as a result of the project, including loss of rental income from tenants during temporary relocation, additional costs of alternative accommodation, and increased rental income assumed post-restoration.
Scheduled rent reviews at Cardiff Market have been on hold since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and traders have not seen rents increase since 2017.
Cardiff Council said rents will continue to be held at existing levels throughout the restoration project, however scheduled rent reviews are expected to restart once the works are complete.
The council’s statement continues: “Historically, rents have been kept below market value for comparable city centre spaces.
“Whilst any changes in rent as part of this review post-restoration will be informed by a market value analysis, it is also proposed to minimise the potential impact of the rent review on any current tenant in the market.
“As part of this any rent increase will be implemented on a stepped basis over three years.”
The full list of works, subject to funding being secured, will include:
- The restoration of the Trinity Street and St Mary Street entrances.
- The repair and restoration of the roof, original windows and external elevations.
- Replacement of glazing and tiles.
- Restoration of the market interior, including improvements to the historic stalls.
- Removal of a 1960s ‘false floor’ at the Trinity Street entrance to reveal the original design.
- Roof-mounted solar panels, and integrated battery storage.
- Repairs to the H Samuel market clock.
- A new 70-seat eating area on the ground floor.
- A new activity and education room.
- Improvements to the original Victorian drainage system.
- The installation of energy-efficient LED lighting.
- The proposals for Cardiff Market will be scrutinised by the council’s economy and culture scrutiny committee on Tuesday, September 19.
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