Wales

Cardigan market's £1.5m revamp saved by council cash pledge

Cardigan market Image copyright Ceridwen
Image caption The 1860 building is in need of major refurbishment

A £1.5m plan to refurbish Cardigan Market Hall has been kept alive after a council agreed to plug a funding gap.

European funding of nearly £1m was in jeopardy when the Heritage Lottery Fund declined to pay the rest of the cash.

Ceredigion council bosses have now agreed to provide £460,000 of capital funding to trigger the EU grant aid.

Councillor Lyndon Lloyd claimed the Grade II* listed hall, built in 1860, was "iconic not just in Ceredigion, but in Wales".

Plans include re-roofing the building and replacing the roof lantern glazing system.

The adjacent public toilets will also be demolished and an access tower built.

Market stalls would be upgraded with rewiring and underfloor heating, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Councillor Catrin Miles, a cabinet member who represents Cardigan, said the local community was supportive of the scheme, which will enhance the "unique" and "lovely" building.

She said it was one of the first to be built in the modern Gothic style advocated by the leading Victorian art critic John Ruskin.

Ceredigion council, which owns the hall, would lease it at a peppercorn rent to the Cardigan Building Preservation Trust, which has to claim the European funds on offer by 19 August.

The trust would also take over the public toilets at nearby Greenfield Square.

Councillor Keith Evans reminded the cabinet there had been plans to sell off the hall in the past, and warned that if the council did not support the refurbishment it could end up paying for maintenance of the building.

Council leader Ellen ap Gwynn agreed, saying: "If it's a chance to draw down £1m for a listed building in our ownership then we have to take a sensible stand."

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