BRIDGEND COUNTY BOROUGH COUNCIL
7 FEBRUARY 2006
REPORT OF THE DEPUTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE &
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR - RESOURCES
THE JENNINGS BUILDING, PORTHCAWL
The Jennings Building stands beside Porthcawl Harbour. It is a listed building and
perhaps the only example of an early industrial wharf side warehouse remaining in
The building is currently used as an indoor skateboard park. The park was
established some 3 or 4 years ago and the Council has let the premises on 6 month
leases reserving the right not to grant further tenancies if the building is required for
some other purpose.
The building has not been offered on the market since 1997 or 1998 because it has
been identified as a potentially important facility to support any marina operation
which may be established as part of the Porthcawl Regeneration Strategy.
A marina is anticipated to be provided in the Supplementary Planning Guidance
which has been approved by the Council and the Cabinet, in June 2004 approved in
principle the construction of marina to be enclosed by new breakwaters to the East of
the Eastern Promenade.
Three approaches have been received by the Council from other parties who wish to
establish various operations in the building.
One would establish a marine aquarium and has developed a business plan which
anticipate that 100,000 visitors could be attracted to the facility each year.
Another is from local investors who would convert the building in to “unique” loft style
apartments and “upscale eateries”.
The final interest is for the establishment of a “fair trade retail project within the local
community” which is intended would be “developed with the support of the
community, attracting membership and voluntary help whilst providing appropriate
training”. The total cost of staffing and refurbishment are said to be close to
A business plan has been produced for the aquarium proposal. No detailed planning
has been undertaken in respect of the other two proposals and the decision for the
Council is whether to encourage individuals to spend time and money in establishing
proper, fully costed business plans.
Relative Merits of the Proposals
In accordance with the recently established procedure in relation to asset
management a matrix has been prepared in respect of the various proposals. At this
preliminary stage, the matrix does not assess whether the proposals would be
appropriate or not in this listed building or the prospect of achieving grants for any of
Similarly any adverse effect of relocating the skateboard park has not been reflected,
although it is recognised that this is a valued facility whose popularity should not be
The matter has been discussed at the Regeneration Enterprise Board. The strong
view of the Board is that the Jennings Building is eminently suitable for use in
association with a marina, by virtue of its position overlooking the probable location of
lock access to the marina, and should not be offered for any other proposal at this
That the Cabinet resolve to hold the Jennings Building available for potential marina
use and review the position when funding and other aspects of feasibility become
L M James
Deputy Chief Executive & Executive Director - Resources
Appraisal of options for use of building, File Reference: PC/1/12
Surveyor: Ian Aitken, Property Manager