By Rhiannon Humphreys
Cardiff Council have drawn up several new planning proposals for the city’s historic buildings in an effort to sustain the maintenance costs, stating that around £23m is required over the next 5 years to carry out urgent work on the sites.
One of the most significant proposals is to bring a new Doctor Who exhibition to Cardiff Castle in 2019, in partnership with BBC Worldwide, which will hopefully attract more tourism to the city.
This is creating some concern amongst locals however, as Castle Street is already a congested area. Although, some have spoken out in praise of the council for making an effort to encourage more tourism to the capital.
The council also plans to expand the use of City Hall by potentially moving their council offices to a new location in Cardiff Bay, on the site of the current County Hall. This will enable City Hall to be used for more commercial purposes, as currently hiring it out for weddings and conferences does not generate enough sustainable revenue on its own, being “far outweighed” by the commercial costs.
Other historic buildings that have been spotted for possible alteration are the Mansion House on Richmond Road, formerly the home of the Lord Mayor, which could be converted into a boutique hotel comprising of 20 rooms.
There are also discussions of opening up the four ground floor retail units in St. David’s Hall, so that people can enter the hall through the shop fronts. This may help generate more income, therefore allowing the Hall, which is already subsidised by the council, to carry out the backlog of repairs needed for the building.
In a report to Cardiff council’s cabinet regarding the proposed developments, they stated that: “failure to address this backlog will not only lead to increasing costs, but also increase the risk of health and safety incidents relating to a lack of building maintenance”.
The report went before Cardiff council’s cabinet on November 15, 2018.