CARDIFF Bay’s old railway station could be transformed into offices, flats and shops after being derelict for over 20 years.
A planning application has already been submitted to refurbish and extend the Grade II* listed building on Bute Street.
The plans include demolishing the canopy as well as refurbishing and extending the original building to include 19 offices, ten flats and two retail spaces over three floors – all aiming to serve residents and communities in Cardiff Bay.
Despite regeneration throughout the Bay, the old train station has been left disused and boarded up. In September 2016, it was listed as one of the 10 most endangered buildings in England and Wales by the Victorian Society.
Brian Ahearne, 63, who works for Business in Focus opposite the station, said: “It really is a beautiful building, but it’s been an eyesore for a while so I think it’s important that something happens to it.” The site is registered as a Grade II * listed building meaning that it has more than special interest and only 7% of buildings in Wales are listed at this grade.
If the plans were approved, ABA Holdings Ltd, who submitted the application, would have to ensure that the refurbishments do not alter the alter the character of the building.
The station was built in 1842 and was home to the first steam-powered train service in Wales. In the 1980s the building was converted into a railway museum, but it has not been used since 1994.
Edward Davis, 84, who has lived in Cardiff Bay his whole life, said: “I remember how the Bay use to look. It has changed a lot over the years and it’s moving with the modern times. The building is historical and it’s important to the area, so they need to restore it but make it more modern and suited to the area.”
The site is also one of the suggested projects which could benefit from the £1 million loan which has been awarded by Welsh Government through the Vibrant and Viable Places Town Centre Loans Fund.
Carl Sargeant AM and Communities and Children Secretary, said: “This funding will help Local Authorities regenerate their town centres by helping them find sustainable uses for empty sites and premises such as affordable town centre homes or tourist and leisure attractions.”
Cardiff is one of the 12 cities to benefit from the loan and Butetown and Grangetown are the main beneficiaries of the investment, with proposed activities including:
- Regeneration of the unused listed train station in Bute Street to create 20 live/work units, 2,000 sq. ft. of retail space and 25 business start-up units.
- Regeneration of the Military Museum of Medicine in Bute Street to create a tourist attraction.
- Restoration of three buildings in Merchant Place to create a mixture of residential and retail units and the creation of a hotel.
- Creation of ‘Box City’ in Cardiff Docks. The scheme will create 36 retail units, leisure facilities, serviced business units and an apartment hotel from shipping containers.
- Provision of loans to property owners in Mount Stuart Square to restore listed buildings in this area.