Nightclub move and new offices planned for historic Bangor Post Office
Gareth Wyn Williams, local democracy reporter
A historic city centre Post Office building could be given a new lease of life with plans for new university offices, lecture rooms and the relocation of a student union nightclub.
The Edwardian building on Deiniol Road was the long time home of Bangor’s Post Office services until their relocation to the WHSmith store on Wales’ longest high street in 2008.
Despite later being transformed into the Embassy nightclub, the party spot shut its doors in 2014 after only two years of operation.
But Gwynedd Council’s planning department has now received fresh proposals for the Grade II listed building which, as well as retaining a night club on the ground floor, would develop the upper floors into offices and lecture rooms for the use of Bangor University.
It is stated that the plans would see the existing Student Union nightspot relocated from Academi, where it has been based since the demolition of the “Time” nightclub and “Main Bar” to allow building of the Pontio facility.
At present Academi is based at the former Robinson building, also situated along Deiniol Road.
The site has a varied planning history, with plans being approved for “various uses including a club, medical practice and an external food court” in April 2011 but never coming to fruition.
Later plans revealed in 2014 for a nightclub, sports bar and café were also short lived, with proposals for 100 student flats at the site refused in 2016 while also failing upon subsequent appeal.
The supporting documents accompanying Mr Corrigan Lockett’s application, state: “Following the relocation of the post office the building has had a variety of uses, culminating in use as a night club and food court on the majority of the ground floor, and as a medical practice in the remainder of the building (a dentist’s surgery) but as these have been unsuccessful it is currently vacant and is therefore slowly deteriorating.”
Proposing that the nightclub would be allowed to remain open until 3:30am – similarly to the city’s other Academi and Cube night spots – they claim that the plans would also secure the restoration of a historic building to “an active and suitable use.”
“It is also clear that the proposal would provide much needed additional space for the university that is required to allow for their ambitious programme for their campus, and will also allow greater links with the town centre, in a suitable and accessible location.
“As such the proposal provides a bright future for the building that will also allow for the development of a key facility and employer within the town and region.
“There is a clear need by the university for an additional building to relocate their existing nightclub and provide additional lecturing space. This cannot be met on their existing campus, and the site is located effectively adjacent to it.
“The site has also been extensively marketed for all other possible commercial uses with no interest forthcoming due to the nature of the building and site. The proposed use is ideally suited to the building, and represents the best hope for securing its future.”
Gwynedd Council’s planning department will now consider the application as well as consult with statutory bodies including Bangor City council, with a decision expected over the coming months.
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