More than 50 people turned out over the course of the weekend to spruce up the historic Coal Exchange as part of the ever growing campaign to see the building restored to its former glory.
The Save the Coal Exchange campaign has many high-profile supporters, the latest being Sir Tom Jones, who tweeted his support for the campaign last week.
The clean-up operation sought to revitalise some of the building’s 200 rooms, regenerating office space within the Grade II listed building to add to the 12 occupants already in residence.
In just two days, the team of volunteers restored 13 rooms and cleaned seven toilets, including one that had been locked up for decades.
They also received a surprise visit from John Briggs, famous photographer of Cardiff Bay since the 70s, who wandered in, took some photos and pledged his support for the Cardiff Coal Exchange inside a copy of his own photography book.
One of the weekend volunteers, local resident Lizzie Clugston said she took part in the big clean-up as she is longing to see the Coal Exchange up and running once more. “The Coal Exchange is one of the most important buildings in Cardiff, and it is very sad to see it so neglected. I feel passionate about playing a part in restoring the building and am happy to do anything I can to make that happen.”
Fellow volunteer, Julie Meredith added. “The Coal Exchange could and should be the hub of Cardiff Bay. It’s such a beautiful building, and far too special to lose.”
The Save the Coal Exchange campaign is working hard to explore ways of regenerating the building and finding a viable and sustainable future for it.
The key factor in the initial stages is to find funding to carry out essential repairs so that the building can be fully open to the public once more. Securing a £10,000 funding grant from the Heritage Lottery Scheme would help kick-start the project.
Campaign director Ian Hill said: “One of the things that is clear is we cannot get public funding for the repair of the building without having a sustainable future. The clean-up operation this weekend has opened up more space for small businesses, and is the first step towards achieving this aim.”
For further details on the facilities within the Coal Exchange or to become directly involved with the working groups, email firstname.lastname@example.org
How the People of Cardiff Can Get Involved
- Office space is now available within one section of the building. The Coal Exchange was always a hub for the creative industries, so the emphasis is on recruiting film, TV and small independent media companies to relocate there.
- The media production team are looking for volunteers interested or experienced in video, film or sound
- The fundraising group are seeking people with experience of heritage grant applications and grant fundraising
- The building structures team is seeking people with construction experience