Work gets underway on historic Guildhall redevelopment
Work has started on the £1million redevelopment of Carmarthen’s Guildhall.
A new restaurant and café bar, taking up the ground floor of the historic town centre building, is due to open in September.
It has been taken over by the Loungers group, which has the popular eateries Zinco Lounge in Swansea and Croeso Lounge in Mumbles.
Carmarthen's will be known as Cofio Lounge - cofio, which translates as 'remember', is a nod to the building's history.
It is set to create around 30 jobs, with a recruitment drive getting underway during the summer.
The Grade I listed building is owned by Carmarthenshire County Council.
James Morse, of Swansea-based developers NextColour Ltd, said work will be carried out sensitively to ensure the building’s history is looked after and can be enjoyed by diners and visitors.
The historic courtroom on the first floor will be un-touched, with public access retained.
Many of the building’s original ground-floor features will be restored, including its distinctive columns and black and white tiled flooring.
“We are excited about restoring this wonderful building and opening it up so that it can be seen and enjoyed by more people,” said Mr Morse.
“We are working closely with CADW to ensure that the refurbishment is sensitive to the history of the building and shows off its best original features.”
Carmarthenshire County Council hopes the redevelopment will act as a catalyst for further investment in the town, creating a key link between the town centre’s different retail areas and supporting the surrounding independent shops.
Leader, Cllr Emlyn Dole, said: “Guildhall is an important and iconic building in the centre of Carmarthen that we did not want to see standing empty.
“I’m delighted that it will have a new lease of life, and that it can now be enjoyed by people other than those who have fallen on the wrong side of the law in the past.
“We welcome the Loungers Group, and congratulate them on bringing their business to Carmarthen and providing jobs for local people.”