Progress Report on City Hall Maintenance Released


Cardiff Council has published a report providing an update on the maintenance work being carried out on City Hall.

Preparation work is underway on phase one of the essential maintenance, replacing the obsolete and inefficient heating and ventilation system, and upgrading the associated mechanical and electrical systems in the building.

City Hall

The Council hopes that it will be in a position to reopen the south-wing of the building in phases - commencing in the autumn of 2025 - as phase one work on those parts of City Hall is completed with additional spaces within that wing reopening in the early part of 2026. More work would need to be carried out for City Hall's office space to be brought back into use.

Cabinet Member for Investment and Development, Cllr Russell Goodway, said: "The Council is committed to addressing the significant maintenance issues associated with City Hall in order to secure its future as an important civic space. We have put £5.3 million of funding in place for phase one of the maintenance programme, which is underway with preparations for the new heating system and associated work on the building's mechanicals and electricals."

The report also refers to initial consideration of how City Hall might be used over the longer term. Several options will be considered, including the potential for other organisations to operate the event venue and/or to occupy the office space.

"By exploring opportunities for suitable and appropriate organisations to use the building, we can minimise the Council's financial liability, while at the same time ensuring that City Hall remains fit for purpose as a civic building and a heritage venue of historical significance, both now and for future generations," Cllr Goodway added.

A detailed review of the options will be presented to Cabinet as part of a Full Business Case on the Council's core office strategy in July.

City Hall closed temporarily in October 2023, with the work then expected to be completed by October 2024. However, heritage requirements highlighted the need for an extended timescale in order to carry out the maintenance work in a way that is sympathetic to the fabric of the building and protects its Grade I listed status.

A Cardiff Council spokesperson said: "The Council had expected to be able to re-open parts of the building between April and October 2024, before all the works were completed, as the heating system is not used during these months. However, further inspections have shown that more invasive work will be required to meet the requirements associated with the building's Grade I listed status. This includes the removal of asbestos from service ducts to install the new heating system. The removal of asbestos will need to take place over the summer meaning the building can no longer be opened during these months."

Cardiff Council's Cabinet will meet on Thursday, May 23 to consider the recommendations contained in the report, and a webcast of that meeting will be available to watch  here.

Prior to the Cabinet meeting, the report will be scrutinised by the Policy Review and Performance Committee when it meets on Wednesday, May 15. A webcast of that meeting will be available to view  here.

A full copy of the report is available to read  here.