Cardiff music venue Clwb Ifor Bach unveils expansion plans

Clwb Ifor Bach
Image caption It was feared live music would be severely curtailed if flats were built next door to the venue

A city centre music venue that fought off a plan to build flats next door is to take over the site itself.

Politicians and celebrities joined a campaign in support of Cardiff's Clwb Ifor Bach in 2017, amid fears it could have been hampered by noise complaints.

Plans for the flats in Womanby Street were dropped following objections.

Cardiff Council will now buy the site and lease it to the venue, which says the move safeguards the "beating heart of the city's music scene".

Opening in 1983 as a social club for Welsh speakers, Clwb Ifor Bach soon branched out into live music, staging early gigs by bands such as Super Furry Animals, Stereophonics and Coldplay.

Announcing the expansion plans, Clwb said it aimed to "create a venue fit for the 21st Century", with support from the local authority and the Arts Council of Wales.

It said the venue would "play a critical role in making Cardiff an internationally recognised music city", helping develop more artists, technicians, administrators and promoters.

Image caption Award-winning musician Gwenno was celebrated in a mural on the side of Clwb Ifor Bach

An open day on Tuesday will give music fans and other interested people an opportunity to share their views on the proposals.

The announcement comes as another Cardiff venue - Gwdihw - stages its last gig on Wednesday before eviction from its Guildford Crescent premises.

Confirming support for Clwb Ifor Bach, council leader Huw Thomas said music venues "add significantly to the cultural offering in the city".

"Not only do these venues attract visitors, retain jobs and create unique venues for people to visit and enjoy, they often have historical significance," he said.

"The council will continue to work with all those involved to assist the owners of Clwb with their plans for expansion, so we can safeguard the live music scene in Womanby Street."

A music strategy for the whole city will be announced in the spring.

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