How £2.5m in Welsh Government money is paying for three massive projects in Cardiff city center

Three buildings in Cardiff city center are to be transformed after receiving government-funded loans to help with the projects.

The buildings – which include a former nightclub and a listed building – have secured £2.35 million in interest-free loans from the Welsh Government Transforming Towns Loans programme.

The loans have been provided through Cardiff Council to assist with redevelopment and regeneration plans in line with the authority’s recovery strategy.

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One of the buildings that provided the loans is the Imperial Gate on lower St Mary Street, home to the former Liquid nightclub.

The loan will be used to redevelop the building into a new golf-themed recreational attraction, Par 59.

Last year it was announced that Par 59, with footballer Gareth Bale as a partner, will take over the 23,000 square meter site in the spring of 2022.



Par 59 is expected to open in the spring of 2022



A new billiard room will also be built on the second floor.

Developed by the team behind Cardiff’s The Depot, the plan was to locate the site in the 18,000 square meter basement of the Capitol Shopping Center in the city center.

Design plans indicated two adults-only miniature golf courses, two large bar and dining rooms, and two independent street food kitchens.

However, after a number of delays due to the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent restrictions, work on the original site has come to a halt.

But developers say that when a new, larger property in the city center came on the market, the Par 59 team decided to scale up their ambitions.

Now, with the extra 5,000 square feet, the bar can add a third miniature golf course – from two 12-hole courses to three 9-hole courses currently under construction by local company Wild Creations.

A new billiard room will also be built on the second floor.



Garthe Bale reviews plans for the bar



The bar will take over the huge 23,000 square foot site of the former Liquid/Life nightclub on St Mary Street in the spring of 2022.

Par 59 marks a second step into the hospitality industry for the star footballer, following the opening of Elevens Bar & Grill in Cardiff in 2017.

The new bar is the result of a partnership between Bale’s company Elevens Group LTD and The DEPOT, one of Wales’ most successful independent entertainment brands.

Another well-known Cardiff company benefiting from the loan is The 44 Group, which owns the Bar 44 and Asador 44 restaurants in the capital.

Owners of the successful company first announced plans to open a boutique hotel on the top floors of Asador 44 on Quay Street in March 2021 , when a planning application was submitted to Cardiff Council.

Work on the hotel will begin in mid-January and is expected to open in June 2022.



Architect’s plans for Parador 44

Parador 44 will be one of the first luxury boutique hotels in Cardiff city center. With nine individually decorated bedrooms with tiled floors and ornate wood panelling, other aspects of the hotel include an Andalusia-inspired outdoor terrace and lounge for residents with self-pouring fine wine.

About the new hotel, Tom Morgan, director of the 44 Group said: “Parador 44 is the culmination of many years of dreaming about opening our very first hotel. We have been traveling through Spain since childhood to get inspiration for the project.

“During our travels, we have often stayed in the paradores that can be found all over the country. They are, for the most part, incredible historic buildings such as convents or convents that have been converted into hotels and managed by the Spanish state to facilitate the maintenance of these important historic buildings. The vision is to provide an oasis of modern Spanish comfort in the city center.

“Guests can enjoy the renowned 44 Spanish food, drink and hospitality in both Asador 44 on the ground floor of the hotel and around the corner in the Bar 44 tapas bar.”

The third building to receive the loan is number 30-31 Windsor Place in the city center.

The loan will be used to convert the landmark building into offices and incubators for leading technology and fintech companies.

The loan was granted to the Council by the Welsh Government. The fund has historically been used to regenerate buildings such as the Tramshed in Grangetown and Butetown Railway Station.

The Deputy Climate Change Minister Lee Waters said: “The Welsh Government is investing significant sums to give Cardiff this impetus, not only to restore buildings but also to restore confidence in the city center after a difficult period.”

Cllr Russell Goodway, Cabinet Member for Investment and Development said: “The Covid pandemic is impacting the city center where we have seen a significant drop in business activity leading to an increase in vacancy in the property stock in Cardiff city center .

“So I am delighted to be able to devote Council resources to repurposing these buildings and supporting companies that bring new sustainable uses to the city centre. This will help the city center recovery after the pandemic, create jobs and contribute to the recovery of visitor numbers.

“The Council Loan Programme, supported by the Government of Wales, has already proven to be effective in supporting businesses regenerating vulnerable buildings across Cardiff. The Tramshed and Butetown Railway Station are shining examples of what can be achieved. look forward to seeing these new businesses, which have been funded, thrive in the same way.”

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