Cardiff Coal Exchange to undergo £40m hotel conversion

14 July 2016 by
Cardiff Coal Exchange to undergo £40m hotel conversion

The go-ahead has been given to convert Cardiff's historic Coal Exchange, which has stood empty for three years, into a 200-suite hotel.

Cardiff Council's planning committee has approved a change of use application by Signature Living to renovate the Grade-II-listed, Victorian building at a cost of £40m.

Signature Living, which owns and operates the Shankly hotel and 30 James Street in Liverpool and is developing a boutique hotel in the former post office building in Preston, has signed a deal which will ensure that the building's history is preserved. In addition to 200 suites, the hotel will have a restaurant and bar, function rooms, and a spa.

Around 60 staff will be employed at the hotel, which is expected to open after an 18-month building programme. The property was previously owned by property and construction company Maocb, which went into administration in 2014.

Signature Living founder Lawrence Kenwright told the BBC: "After years of dereliction and decay, the Coal Exchange will once again become an outstanding landmark building for the people of Cardiff and a truly first-class hotel, conferencing and major events venue."

However, the application has come under fire from Cardiff South and Penarth MP Stephen Doughty, who asked MPs to halt the proposal in a Westminster Hall debate in April, and the Victorian Society, who formally opposed the plans to alter the building.

Campaign groups such as Save the Coal Exchange and The Coal Exchange Ltd welcome the changes.

Closed in 1958 following the decline of the coal industry, Cardiff Coal Exchange was later used as a concert and dinner hall until it closed again in 2013 due to safety concerns.

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