Wales

Cardiff Bay 'endangered' station reopens as offices

Former Cardiff Bute Road railway station buildings
Image caption Work continues to turn the ground floor into a cafe and cocktail bar

A Grade II*-listed railway station, once among the UK's most endangered buildings, is reopening as offices.

Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the railway offices in Cardiff Bay were built in October 1840.

However, after closing, the building fell into disrepair and was listed as one the most at-risk Victorian buildings in England and Wales.

Offices at the old Bute Road premises open on Monday, with a cafe and cocktail bar set to follow in July.

Simon Baston, of developers Loftco, said they took a "sympathetic approach" to a Grade II*-listed building "in a serious state of disrepair".

The building was home to the first steam-powered passenger rail service in Wales which opened in October 1840 and subsequently became the head office of the Taff Vale Railway until 1862.

For many years, the building has laid empty and boarded up and became an eyesore in Cardiff Bay although trains still call at the station.

In 2016, the Victorian Society named it as one of the 10 most endangered Victorian and Edwardian buildings in Britain.

It has now been transformed with the help of a £1m loan from Cardiff Council, in partnership with the Welsh Government's Town Centre Loan Scheme, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Image caption The station is the latest in a series of old buildings redeveloped by the company

Mr Baston, whose company was also behind the Tramshed regeneration project in nearby Grangetown, said they were "proud to have converted one of Cardiff's most important and striking buildings".

Councillor Russell Goodway, Cardiff cabinet member for investment and development, said: "The building will have a new lease of life providing high-quality business start-up space to complement an already vibrant business offer within Cardiff Bay."

Hannah Blythyn, the Welsh Government's deputy minister for housing and local government, added: "It is great to see how the Town Centre Loan Scheme has been used to help revitalise this historic building."

Rail services to Cardiff Bay are due to be revamped as part of the South Wales Metro transport project, with the line to be extended and a new station built closer to the Wales Millennium Centre.

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