Council’s £143k plan to restore ‘historic’ derelict building

Monday, 7 October 2019

– Business

by Liz BradfieldGEM Local Democracy Reporter

An historic building in Porthcawl is undergoing a £143,000 restoration – 10 years after it was almost demolished to make way for more car parking spaces.

The Harlequin building in Dock Street, which was built in 1920 is to be strengthened structurally with a new roof, windows and doors – and a full internal refurbishment to make the building suitable for a commercial occupier.

In 2009, the local authority tried to have it demolished to make way for more car parking spaces in Hillsboro Place car park, saying the layout of parking bays in that area did not comply with design standards and the building was in a bad state.

But the Welsh Government and Cadw refused consent as it stands within the town’s conservation area and it was deemed to be a building of local interest.

Built by Sir Thomas Jones, the building was originally used as an estate agents before becoming the property of Great Western Railway where it served as the Porthcawl Railway station master’s office and later a railway goods office.

After Porthcawl’s railway link was removed following a 1965 restructure, the building hosted a number of different businesses, including a well-known gown and suit shop called Madge and the antiques shop which later lent its name to the building.

Harlequin Antiques was the last business to use the building before it closed in 2005.

The £143,000 project is now being funded by the Townscape Heritage Initiative and Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC).

Contractors are already on site and the work is expected to be complete by early 2020.

BCBC’s cabinet member for regeneration, Cllr Charles Smith, said: “I’m delighted to see the latest piece of Porthcawl’s regeneration jigsaw falling into place.

“The Harlequin is a popular and much-loved landmark building in Porthcawl, and with the next phase of our regeneration scheme focusing upon the Salt Lake area, it will be a prime spot for a suitable business.

“We said we would look at the Harlequin when we revisited the town’s regeneration plans, and this work delivers on that promise.”

Liz Bradfield

Local democracy reporter

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