Historic building almost turned into a car park being restored

An historic building in Porthcawl is undergoing a £143,000 restoration – ten years after it was almost demolished to make way for 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 the 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.

The Harlequin building in Porthcawl
(Image: LDRS)

The Harlequin building in Porthcawl is undergoing a £140k restoration
(Image: LDRS)

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 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.

Harlequin Antiques was the last business to use the building in Porthcawl before it closed in 2005.
(Image: LDRS)

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

“With its recently-completed coastal sea defences, new watersports centre preparing to open at Rest Bay and work forging ahead at the Harlequin, Porthcawl is awash with projects that are designed to maximise its potential as a place in which to live, work or visit.”

Article source: https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/historic-building-porthcawl-undergoing-140000-17055572