Our Cardiff planners coordinated planning delivery and listed building consent for the restoration of this abandoned historic building to bring it back into public use with exciting new premises for local businesses that inspire further regeneration initiatives.
Until recently, the Grade II listed Jennings Building had lain abandoned on Porthcawl’s seafront. ABA Holdings, with whom WYG had previously worked on the Tramshed in Cardiff and Barry’s Pumphouse, was granted a long-term lease by Bridgend County Borough Council to redevelop the site. Together with ABA and Ellis Williams Architects, we helped transform the former warehouse into a vibrant mixed-use facility with 14 live-work units and three restaurant/coffee shop units.
In fulfilment of the aspirations of both client and local authority, the scheme has delivered notable economic and social benefits while respecting the rich history of the building itself. All of this was recognised when the project won the Regeneration category at the RICS Wales Awards 2018.
To achieve tangible local benefits, the developer, design team, and local authority cooperated throughout the land transaction and statutory planning processes. This enabled innovative approaches to achieving a high-quality conversion and fulfilling the authority’s vision for the building to become a vibrant contributor to the Porthcawl economy.
As a central project in the Porthcawl Townscape Heritage Initiative, the Jennings demonstrates what can be achieved on a short timescale by an established team engaging positively with local interests and regional authorities (CADW).
Sustainability and heritage
The re-use of an important historical building on a brownfield site is inherently sustainable. In addition to bringing the site back into active use, the scheme aimed to secure a positive future for the building with new roof insulation and high-specification double glazing to mitigate energy loss in this exposed harbourside location.
Wherever possible, historic features of the building have been repaired and retained with minimal interference to the listed fabric. This respectful and sensitive approach is an excellent example of conservation-led regeneration, preserving the space and character of the existing building while providing a flexible working environment for local businesses.
The Jennings now provides 24-hour multi-use access to its community. It also offers local restaurateurs and entrepreneurs opportunities to develop their business in a prime seafront location.
As an additional boon, the project has employed 50 full-time employees from local areas, with another 80 permanent positions introduced in long-term operational staffing requirements.
Opened in September, 2017, the Jennings exemplifies best practice in planning for heritage and culture, setting a benchmark for listed buildings in functional harbour-side settings. In just two years, the scheme progressed from initial design to planning, approval, and delivery of new uses and is already acting as a catalyst to regeneration of the wider Porthcawl seafront and marina areas.