New Central Quay Development Scheme in Grangetown

Brains Brewery subject to new development scheme Photo Credit: Alan Levine (via Flickr)

by Yasmin Begum

The new Central Quay development will be located on the waterfront of the river Taff opposite Taffmead, separating the build from the historically much older and Victorian-looking wider area.

On the site of the historic Brains Brewery, the proposed scheme could see up to 2.5 million square foot of a mixture of residential property, offices and leisure space.

The Brains site has been a towering entity over Cardiff, emitting a thick smell of hops to anybody living in and around the CF10 and lower CF5 area in the city. The potential of this site to completely change the local area is a topic that’s become widely debated amongst residents.

Renewed plans have articulated a desire to expand the original geographic area of the site to 14 acres, including Cardiff Central Railway station and the BMW garage on the east side of Penarth Road.

The development threatens the whole character of the wider local area. It includes apartments, a car park and so, so much more.

The development cannot be extricated from the concept of gentrification. Gentrification is when the middle class move into a working-class area, making it more palatable for the middle class a detriment to those communities.

Cardiff is already the second fastest growing city, and Grangetown is also home to Wales’ most diverse population in terms of racial diversity.

Research carried out by Chwarae Teg found that women in Wales from black and minority ethnic backgrounds are more likely to be out of work than other groups: gentrifying ground zero for Cardiffian BAME communities effects some of the most vulnerable in our society.

Finally, the location has been identified by Cardiff Metropolitan University as a site for a potential school to be built. That tower of Brains brewery has hung over Cardiff for years as a familiar eye-site to generations of Cardiffians and non-Cardiffians alike.

That tower will remain the same for year to come, albeit in a different form.

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