Cardiff's Coal Exchange owners GYG Exchange in liquidation

Image source, (C) British Broadcasting Corporation
Image caption,
Cardiff was once a major coal-exporting port and the exchange managed the deals

The company which owns Cardiff's historic Coal Exchange has gone into liquidation casting doubt over the building's future.

GYG Exchange Limited said increasing maintenance costs and difficult market conditions had forced the decision despite "significant investment".

£20m plans to improve the building were announced in 2012.

Construction group Macob shut the Coal Exchange in Cardiff Bay in 2007 for a revamp which did not go ahead.

It was built between 1883 and 1886 and was where coal owners, ship owners and their agents met daily on the floor of the trading hall during the 19th Century coal boom.

At one time the price of the world's coal was determined there and in 1904 the world's first recorded £1m deal was struck at the exchange.

'Iconic building'

David Hill from Begbies Traynor said: "This is a sad situation where a building of such historic importance has become a liability with no option but to disclaim the property to the Treasury Solicitor. Hopefully a solution to restore the building to its former prominence can be achieved at some point in the future."

Cardiff's fortunes as a coal-exporting port took a downturn following World War One and the exchange closed in 1958.

It was later considered as a possible home of the Welsh assembly but in 2001 it became an entertainment venue.

A spokesperson GYG Exchange Limited said: "There has been significant investment into this historic old building over many years.

"Unfortunately, in difficult market conditions and due to increasing holding and maintenance costs, the company has been unable to complete a sale to facilitate the proposed redevelopment scheme of this iconic building.

"The liabilities and contingent liabilities associated to the building continue to accrue and we were left with no alterative other than to liquidate the company."

Image source, Hywel Williams
Image caption,
The Coal Exchange shut in 2007 for a revamp which did not go ahead