Posted: Fri 16th Feb 2024

Lessons Learned from Maesteg Town Hall Delays Inform Porthcawl Grand Pavilion Redevelopment

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Friday, Feb 16th, 2024

Bridgend councillors say they have learned lessons from the delayed Maesteg Town Hall redevelopment, as they begin to start another multi-million regeneration project on Porthcawl’s Grand Pavilion.
The grade two listed Grand Pavilion closed in February of 2024, for what could potentially be as long as two years, while the £18 million project to modernise the popular building takes place.
The renovation, which is mainly funded by the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund, will see the development of new facilities at the building, including function spaces on the esplanade level along with new rooftop function and café spaces.
There will also be a new studio theatre, business incubation or workshop spaces at street level, and increased welfare facilities including a changing places facility.
However, speaking at a full council meeting in February, Cllr. Richard Granville of Cornelly asked what lessons had been learned from the Maesteg Town Hall project, which is currently years behind schedule, and millions of pounds over budget.
The 141-year-old building, which has been described as a focal point for arts and community activity in the Llynfi valley, is heading towards the latest stage of its extensive upgrades which have been ongoing for around four years now, with the total cost having grown to almost £10m compared to an initial contract value of £6,199,387.
Responding to the question, cabinet member Cllr Rhys Goode said that, given the similarities between the two grade two listed buildings, which had both had a number of “hodge-podge” works done to them over the years, things would be done differently, with two contracts being awarded for the Porthcawl development to make sure any structural issues are identified earlier than they were in Maesteg .
He also added that a full review would be carried out once the Maesteg project was completed, in order to see what else could be done differently with these types of projects in the future.
He said: “I think we can all accept in the chamber that there are lessons to be learned from Maesteg Town Hall. The project obviously didn’t quite go according to plan, although largely due to things beyond our control such as the covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
“We’ve already made a commitment both myself and the director to have a full wash up review of that project once we’re finished, which I think is important for any major piece of work.”
Councillor Goode who is cabinet member for Nantymoel said he expected the Porthcawl project to be a “jewel on the coast of Wales” when completed, adding that contractors would be subject to management plans to keep disruptions for resident to a minimum during the construction period. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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