Colwyn Bay Townscape Heritage Initiative: Critical Project
Station Cwt & Porters
Restoration of a Grade II Listed Building and conversion to a multiuse facility
41-43 Station Road, formerly known as the Judge and Jury Bar (2011) was targeted by the Colwyn Bay THI as a Critical project. Critical projects have been identified as being essential to the success of the THI project and were selected as being the most detrimental to the Conservation Area. Their repair and return to beneficial use are considered to be instrumental in bringing about a change in attitude and perception of the town.
Interest in the property from various potential developers concluded that a comprehensive scheme on this building was not commercially viable. The main concern was that an extensive programme was required in order to halt the intermittent use as a low level bar and night club and halt any further deterioration.
The THI partnered with CAIS Social Enterprise who were looking to invest in the town and needed a premises to expand their business ventures into. Cais were also able to bring a large amount of match funding to the project which ensured that the building would have a complete renovation and a sustainable future use.
This Municipal Building was built in 1892 amongst a terrace of buildings by Architects Booth, Chadwick & Porter. It housed all the administration required for the fast growing town of Colwyn Bay, including offices for the National Provincial Bank of England, Denbighshire County Council (responsible for Policing), The Colwyn Bay & Pwllycrochan Estate Company Limited (the major landowner/developer in the Town) and the Colwyn Bay & Colwyn Local Board (forerunner of the local Council). The building has since frequently changed uses including a discount shop and numerous bars.
The building is listed Grade II as “an excellent example of the second, and major phase, of Colwyn Bay’s development as a resort and commercial centre; a fine commercial development of its period in which a strong architectural rhythm enables the individual shop premises to be emphasised while retaining a strong unifying urban character”
The overall aim of the scheme was to establish a new innovative use for this redundant building. It was key that this project would bring the community together by providing a usable space, contributing to a wider offer in the town. It was also intended to provide a model for other development projects and act as a catalyst for the wider regeneration of the town.
The project involved conversion of the ground floor into a modern cafe bistro and conversion of the derelict upper floors into workshop and office space.
The project brief aimed to:
41 & 43 Station Road is a Grade II Listed building within the Colwyn Bay Conservation Area. Completed in 1892, the Municipal Building, as it was previously known, was built to house Denbighshire County Council, the National and Provincial Bank of England Ltd and the Colwyn Bay and Pwllycrochan Estate Company. Stone panels set into the parapet are inscribed with the names of the original occupants of the building
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the building also accommodated both the police station and a court, as can be seen by the pair of handcuffs and the scales of justice in the stonework around the door.
Over the years lack of maintenance and inappropriate change had led to the building’s decline, large areas of the roof were missing and the sandstone frontage was slowly deteriorating along with the original windows. Some window openings had also been bricked up.
The ground floor commercial premises had not seen a purposeful use for nearly 10 years and had fallen victim to low budget periodical uses such as a bar and a nightclub but had stood derelict for the majority of the time. The upper floors had intermittently been let as residential accommodation but had also been allowed to decline.
The repair and restoration of this key listed building has included a new roof, repairs to the tower and brickwork parapets, refurbishment of the original windows to include repairs to the stained glass, reinstatement of the original shop front using historic photographs and a programme of major stonework restoration including replacement grotesques.
Along with works to renovate the external elevations and restore architectural features the interior had major refurbishment to bring vacant floor space back into use, creating new and additional office space.
During the works on site it was found that the stone work was in a poor state of decay and an extensive programme was needed to restore it.
The new design for the building was driven by the need to provide a financially viable new use in order to finance the repair and maintenance of the building along with the imperative of preserving the historic fabric. This was achieved by designing in a new mezzanine floor to provide extra office accommodation along with a newly installed passenger lift.
Before and Afters
Upstairs workshop and office space
Full address:41-43 Station Road, Colwyn Bay, Conwy, North Wales
Date Completed:December 2013
Client/ Developer:Cais Social Enterprise, Colwyn Bay Townscape Heritage Initiative, Conwy County Borough Council, The Baylife Project Board which consisted of the funding bodies, including representatives from the Welsh Government, Cadw. The Project Team formed by the internal support group of Conwy County Council.
Architects / Designers:Lovelock Mitchel, 3 Stanley Street, Chester
Contractors:Anwyl Construction, Rhyl. SP Projects, Mold, Flintshire
Planning Authority:Conwy County Borough Council
Funding body:Heritage Lottery Fund (THI): A grant system designed to help communities to regenerate parts of their towns and cities. The size of the grant is dependent on the work to be undertaken.
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