Porthcawl to benefit from £1m revamp at harbour

Porthcawl to benefit from £1m revamp at harbour

Thursday, 26 March 2015

The regeneration of Porthcawl’s harbour area is to continue with the restoration of the Pilot Lookout Tower, Customs House and former Knight’s Arms public house – at a total cost of £1 million.

The landmark buildings will all be restored to their former glory and brought back into use, following the launch of the Porthcawl Townscape Heritage Initiative.
Heritage Lottery Funding, together with contributions from Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC) and Cadw, is making more than £1m available for the overall scheme.

The council will work with building owners and local organisations on the sensitive repair and restoration of historic premises, structures and open spaces, using traditional materials and skills.

The iconic Grade II Listed Pilot Lookout Tower will be given replacement windows, doors, roofing and the external staircase will also be repaired.

Work on the tower’s revamp gets under way this week and it has also been confirmed that the building is to transfer from BCBC to the National Coastwatch Institution, who will operate a voluntary coast watch service.

Work also starts this week on the Customs House. The grade II listed building, which has been derelict for some years, is to have its doors, windows and a slate roof reinstated, and will also have its exterior stonework repaired to bring it back to its original condition.

Two other properties – the former Knight’s Arms public house and 35 The Esplanade – have also already been identified for improvements.

The Knight’s Arms will benefit from a traditional lime render, as well as a slate roof, rebuilt chimneys and traditional windows.

The rear annexes will be demolished, with the property being sub-divided, and rear gardens and parking spaces will also be created.

At 35 The Esplanade, which contains the Sahi Tandori Indian takeaway, there will be a new slate roof, new windows and doors, as well as traditional signage and a fresh colour scheme.

Coun Charles Smith, BCBC’s cabinet member for strategic change, said: “The restoration of these historic waterfront buildings will complement the exciting work planned for the nearby Jennings Building, and is another important step in Porthcawl’s overall regeneration.
“We are extremely proud of our heritage and this scheme enables us to bring these vacant historic buildings back to their former glory, celebrating the distinctiveness of local architecture. As well as undertaking conservation work to these buildings, we’re looking to find new uses for them too, so it’s really positive news that the National Coastwatch Institution will be taking on the Lookout Tower, and I understand that they have already recruited a committee and a list of volunteers.
“That’s exactly what we want to see, and we hope to announce further new uses for other buildings in the area soon. The Townscape Heritage Initiative will also involve a study of the wider town’s heritage and character, and local people’s knowledge will be vital to this, so please look out for any ways you can get involved.�
Nationally, the Townscape Heritage Initiative programme has helped to restore 22 town centres since it was introduced in 1998, and Bridgend county borough is the only local authority area in Wales to have been awarded five schemes – two in Bridgend, two in Maesteg, and now one in Porthcawl.
Any Porthcawl building owners and organisations who would like to find out more about the Porthcawl Townscape Initiative should contact Claire Hamm or Sue Tomlinson at BCBC on 01656 643164 or 01656 643175.

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