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Troubled Coal Exchange Hotel to reopen

31 Jan 2024 3 minute read
Photo by HHA124L is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Martin Shipton

Cardiff’s troubled Coal Exchange Hotel is to reopen under new management in early March, according to the company that owns its freehold.

Based in a Victorian Grade 2* listed building dating from when the city was the biggest coal-exporting port in the world, the hotel has been through a torrid period.

Between Christmas and the New Year the company that owns the freehold of the Coal Exchange repossessed it from an operating company that was mired in financial irregularities. Prohibition notices were served on the building by South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, with the north side in a state of partial collapse.

In recent weeks the hotel has remained closed, with the former operating company – which had briefly kept it open on a week-by-week basis – blaming the freeholder for causing a significant loss of revenue.

In fact, the company that owns the building had put a stop to the unauthorised retention of revenue by the operating company that should have been paid to individual investors who had bought rooms in the hotel.

Some 77 former employees of Coal Exchange Operations LLP have not been paid the wages they are due and they are frustrated by the delay in putting the company into liquidation. They have released documentation which suggests that more than £1.3m was taken by the operating company when it should have been paid to bedroom investors.

Fresh hope

Now they have been given fresh hope after Eden Grove Developments, the freehold owner of the hotel whose sole director is former Cardiff Labour councillor Ashley Govier, said the hotel was due to reopen.

A statement issued by the firm said: “We are delighted to announce the historic Coal Exchange Cardiff is reopening on Friday, March 8, 2024, under new management. One significant aspect of the reopening is the invaluable contribution and collaboration with bedroom investors.

“Agreements are being put in place to allow the use of more rooms within the hotel. In addition, they will also be represented on the management board, ensuring their interests and vision are well-represented at all times.

“We are thrilled to announce that the majority of our senior management team will be returning to head up the operation – they will be reaching out to staff to discuss potential return to work this week. Their expertise and passion will undoubtedly contribute to the exceptional service and unforgettable experiences that The Coal Exchange will provide to its valued guests.

“For those with existing bookings made for March 8 and onwards for bedroom accommodation, Culley’s Kitchen & Bar, weddings, and events, we are pleased to confirm that they will proceed as planned. A dedicated member of our team will be in touch shortly to discuss the details and provide any necessary updates.

“However, we regret to inform guests who have made bookings for bedroom accommodation, Culley’s Kitchen & Bar, weddings, and events pre-March 8, 2024, that these have been cancelled.

“We understand the disappointment this may cause, and urge affected guests to visit our website blog where comprehensive information on obtaining a refund can be found. We deeply appreciate the understanding and flexibility of our valued guests during this transition period.

“Eden Grove Development Limited recently announced that Austin Smith Lord has been appointed architect and with Harrison Clark Rickerbys providing legal advice and support to the development of the north side. We aim to release more details on further development of The Coal Exchange Cardiff in due course.”

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