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Plans revealed to transform derelict 19th century Cardiff Bay landmarks into top college

07 Oct 2021 2 minutes Read
Merchant Place, Cardiff

Alex Seabrook, local democracy reporter

Plans have been revealed to transform derelict buildings in Cardiff Bay into the home of a top college.

Merchant Place and the adjoining Cory’s Buildings, on the corner of Bute Place and Bute Street, have been empty for more than two decades.

The late 19th century buildings were recently bought by Cardiff Council, in a bid to protect the city’s architectural heritage.

Now the council is considering selling the buildings to Dukes Education, which owns the prestigious Cardiff Sixth Form College.

The independent college, currently on Newport Road, would relocate to the Bay, with both the college and accommodation for students in a refurbished Merchant Place and Cory’s Buildings. Details of the plans were revealed in a recent cabinet report.

The report said: “Although Cardiff Bay has some of the best examples of historic buildings in the city, there are relatively few compared to other cities. This means the preservation of such buildings is even more important for Cardiff. Such buildings have often presented significant challenges for the private sector to overcome.

“The proposal for Merchant Place and Cory’s Buildings will see the historic buildings totally reclaimed and upgraded for use as teaching accommodation, with ground floor activity including a coffee shop.

“The proposal provides a vibrant scheme, attracting a significant number of young people to the area. Dukes Education is a well-funded organisation backed by a number of high profile pension funds. They will deliver a self-funded, owner-occupied scheme, minimising development risk.”

The council bought the buildings in January this year, and began marketing it in February. Other bids put forward to the council included a hotel and apartments.

Council bosses are hoping to recoup the initial investment and kickstart development of the derelict site.

The council’s cabinet is expected to sign off plans to sell the buildings to Dukes Education on Thursday, October 14.

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Sion Cwilt
Sion Cwilt
14 days ago

Utterly disgusting that a Labour council should be considering effectively encouraging private education with the plan to sell this building to Dukes Education. Surely a better, community based use could be found for this building, such as a museum and cultural centre for the Butetown communities, rather than as an establishment dedicated to further extending the privilege of the already privileged. This is twice now that the Labour controlled Cardiff County Council have made decisions in the Cardiff Bay area that are detrimental to the local community and more widely the whole of Cardiff with their recent approval of a… Read more »

Gareth
Gareth
14 days ago
Reply to  Sion Cwilt

As lovely as a museum of cardiff bay would be this building is huge so let’s have some realism please.

Dafydd ap Robart
Dafydd ap Robart
13 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

Tai cymdeithasol i bobl leol.
Yw hynny’n ddigon realistig i chi?

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
14 days ago
Reply to  Sion Cwilt

The council did once provide a cultural centre for Butetown, just around the corner. The community sold it to a company that made it a bar and rock venue. Then the community complained about noise and it was closed. Providing stuff for people is useless, giving them the ability to provide for themselves sometimes, not always, works.

This is an existing Cardiff business wishing to relocate and renovate a historic building at no cost to ratepayers. I don’t think private education should be tax free and/or subsidised but if it employs working teachers then it has a place.

Will
Will
14 days ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

Are you talking about The Point? In which case, it was not the “community” that complained – it was quite literally one person, who bought a shoddy converted flat right next to a live music venue and then complained non-stop about noise. To stop this situation happening in future, Wales has since copy-pasted England’s “Agent of Change” principle, whereby the responsibility for mitigating the impact of existing noise sources on noise-sensitive developments is placed solely on the money-grubbing property developer. Sadly it was too late to save The Point, but at least now if companies want to convert or throw… Read more »

Tristan
Tristan
14 days ago
Reply to  Sion Cwilt

Jesus Christ calm down. That building would make an excellent collage and bring an massive amount of young talent to the Bay area and boost the economy of the bay. Everything from the new development, theatre and restaurants would benefit from it and strengthen the community. Just relax a bit and and try to enjoy life.

Dafydd ap Robart
Dafydd ap Robart
13 days ago
Reply to  Tristan

Haha!
Ie, oherwydd dyna shwd mae’r pethau hyn yn gweithio.

Dafydd ap Robart
Dafydd ap Robart
13 days ago

Os oedd yr ysgol breifat hon ar gyfer y cyfoethog eisiau gwneud hyn, pam na wnaethant hynny ddegawdau yn ôl?

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