An eight-month project is underway in Porthcawl that will create jobs, deliver new waterfront facilities and bring a prominent Grade II listed building back into public use.
Workers from Wales-based developers ABA Holdings have started transforming the Jennings Building and Customs House after Bridgend County Borough Council granted them a long-term lease on the property.
The ground floor will offer several new commercial units including a 5,000 sq ft theatre-style kitchen restaurant and bar complete with a full-height atrium, and the upper level will feature 13 ‘live-work’ units complete with loft bedrooms that will enable occupants to live and work on site.
All 13 of the live-work units have already been taken up, and the businesses that will occupy the restaurant and other commercial units will be announced as soon as negotiations are complete.
More than 30 jobs will be created during the construction phase of the project, and when complete, a further 50 positions will be established throughout the revamped premises.
ABA Holdings are investing £2.5m in the project including support from Finance Wales and townscape heritage funding provided via Bridgend County Borough Council from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Cadw.
Councillor Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said:
“This exciting and highly ambitious project forms an important part of our ongoing regeneration plans for Porthcawl.
“ABA Holdings have demonstrated a strong track record when it comes to redeveloping listed and historic buildings, especially with their work on the Grade II Pump House in Barry or the redevelopment at St Fagans’ National History Museum.
“I have every confidence that the new-look Jennings Building and Customs House is going to be a first-class facility within Porthcawl’s harbour quarter, and will serve as a major focal point for visitors and tourists as well as residents of Porthcawl.”
Built in 1832, the Jennings Building is widely considered to be one of the few remaining early dockside warehouse buildings from its era in South Wales.
It was originally constructed as the southern terminus of the Dyffryn Llynfi Porthcawl horse-drawn tram road, which was used to transport iron and coal from the Llynfi Valley.
The building’s name dates from 1911 when it was used by the timber importers Jennings and C. In more recent years, it has been used as an indoor skate park.