South East Wales

Sir Geoffrey Inkin who led Cardiff Bay redevelopment dies

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Media captionSir Geoffrey Inkin oversaw the redevelopment of Cardiff Bay, turning the city's docklands into a modern waterfront development

Sir Geoffrey Inkin, the man who led the redevelopment of Cardiff's docklands into Cardiff Bay, has died after a short illness, aged 78.

He was chairman of the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation from 1987 until 2000 and also chairman of the Land Authority of Wales.

During his time in charge a barrage was built across mudflats creating a permanent freshwater lake.

Homes, offices and leisure facilities sprang up along the waterfront.

South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael was MP for Cardiff South and Penarth during the time of the Cardiff Bay regeneration in the 1990s.

He paid tribute to Sir Geoffrey saying: "Sir Geoffrey Inkin made a considerable contribution to ensuring the success of the Cardiff Bay barrage and rebuilding the economy of the southern area of Cardiff."

'Staunch patron'

Sir Geoffrey's close friend, Lord David Rowe-Beddoe who was chair of the Welsh Development Agency at the time of the Cardiff Bay redevelopment, called him "visionary" and said everyone owed him a great deal.

"Geoffrey was the man who executed it [the bay plan], motivated it and what we have today is really part of what he was able to achieve," he told BBC Radio Wales.

Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Welsh Conservatives, also paid tribute.

"Sir Geoffrey was a staunch patron of the armed forces and is rightly credited with what remains one of the greatest acclaimed redevelopments in Europe - that of Cardiff Bay," he said.

Born in 1934 in Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Sir Geoffrey trained at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst before an illustrious military career.

He was mentioned in despatches for his service in Cyprus in 1959 and went on to serve as the commanding officer of 1st Battalion The Royal Welch Fusiliers before his retirement from the Army in 1974.

Sir Geoffrey served as a Gwent county councillor from 1977 to 1983 and also as a member of Gwent Police Authority.

He was appointed High Sheriff of Gwent in 1987 and was a member of the board of the Welsh National Opera.

A spokesperson for his family said Sir Geoffrey passed away peacefully on Thursday evening after a sudden illness.

Sir Geoffrey is survived by his wife Lady Susan and his three sons.

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